Forschungsprojekt: Die virtuelle zweite Generation
International seminar on “Indian Transnationalism Online: Ethnographic Explorations”
University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, A.P., India
26-27 March 2012
The Centre for the Study of Indian Diaspora, University of Hyderabad & the Department of Cultural Anthropology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands are organizing an International Seminar on ‘Indian Transnationalism Online’ from 26th – 27th March 2012.
The trilingual internet portal Indernet was founded in 2000 by ‘Indians of the second generation’ for ‘Indians of the second generation’ in Germany. In the middle of the 2000s it was at its height, connecting a high proportion of ‘Indians of the second generation’ in Germany (and some German-speakers abroad), several of whom used the Indernet forum like an instant messenger. The editorial team regularly published new articles in several categories, kept an ‘Indian’ event calendar for offline meetings and organised also themselves some offline events. The Indernet had mainstream media coverage and several researchers took notice of it. At the end of the 2000s, the internet portal itself seemed quite dead. The forum was not working anymore, the events calendar was no longer updated and very few articles were published sporadically. But the Indernet is still online – in different forms. There is still the internet portal itself with sporadic articles, there are media cooperations with ‘Indian events’, there is a facebook page and a facebook group initiated by users and there is an independent active forum, which was founded by users during a technical crisis. Former users can still be motivated to participate in online Indernet events. Furthermore, the Indernet has produced diverse sustainable ramifications (on- and offline) – former editors have made their hobby into an occupation, networks are still being used, friendships as well as intimate partnerships have been founded.
On the basis of ethnographic observation of the Indernet since the beginning in the year 2000 the paper will analyse on the one hand the long term effects on community (re)formation, which took place through the Indernet and which seem to outlive the internet portal itself. On the other hand, it will look at the longevity of the Indernet and its spin-offs.
Urmila Goel is a researcher in social and cultural anthropology based in Berlin (Germany). Her ethnographic research focuses in particular on migrants from South Asia to Germany and their children. She has conducted research projects on the Indernet, the question of citizenship and identity, the ascription of religion as well as on gender and family relations. Her research interests are in particular issues of migration, racism, postcolonial theory and heteronormativity. She has been researching at universities in Germany, Australia, Norway and Switzerland and was visiting professor in Gender Studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Further information on http://www.urmila.de/