"When our lived experience of theorizing is fundamentally linked to processes of self-recovery, of collective liberation, no gap exists between theory and practice. Indeed, what such experience makes more evident is the bond between the two—that ultimately reciprocal process wherein one enables the other. Theory is not inherently healing, liberatory, or revolutionary. It fulfills this function only when we ask that it do so and direct our theorizing towards this end." - bell hooks (Theory as Liberatory Practice, 1994)
"The decolonization of digital practices calls for an urgent (re)imagination and (re)design of technological spaces, with the leadership of marginalized communities, through a process free from exploitation. This needs a deeply feminist, human, and humane politics and practice – the commitment to address deep inequities, and affirm, acknowledge, share, and redistribute knowledge without extraction and exploitation. This work must simultaneously challenge the entrenched political economies of knowledge that exist both in the physical and digital, material and cognitive, economies of the local and global. We need to see the interconnectedness of cognitive and material labor, and honor the bodies, minds, and spirits of marginalized communities." - Azar Causevic and Anasuya Sengupta (Whose Knowledge Is Online? Practices of Epistemic Justice for a Digital New Deal, 2020)
Participatory reimaging the community health data- infrastructure. Research Project: Healthy Crossroads in Pregnancy Care, in collaboration with University of Leicester and Loughborough University, and MAYA Health. Funded by the the MRC-AHRC Global Public Health: Partnership Awards scheme. Image Source: Naveen Bagalkot.
The vision of the Postgraduate Program in Technology and Change at Srishti Manipal is to enable potential researchers and practitioners to investigate, problematize and critique the nature of social change, technology and development in India using a range of interrelated interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches.
The last few decades in India have been characterized by major transformations in economy, culture, politics, environment and technologies. Liberalization and the IT revolution have brought economic prosperity to certain sections of the population against the backdrop of continuing acute poverty, as well as serious contestations over the nature of development in the country. Much of this change has been driven by technological development and intervention, which in India, like much of the global south, is characterized by both state-driven and corporate machineries as well as indigenous practices of creativity. The unique nature of this landscape demands specific, contextually informed inquiries, which challenge existing paradigms that shape the study of these developments in the West, using diverse methodologies and theoretical frameworks drawn from a range of disciplines such as:
- Digital humanities and critical making
- Anthropology and sociology
- Political science
- Gender studies
- Science and Technology Studies
The program will facilitate potential researchers and practitioners to think beyond traditional forms and means of knowledge contribution, and encourage them to use different modes of inquiry such as filmmaking, art installations, material practices and creation of digital artifacts.
- Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary studios
- Lines of Inquiries (Field work, Case Studies, Investigations, individual or Group Projects, Transdisciplinary Research)
- Theory and Understanding
- Independent Study
- Open Elective
- Culminating Performances of Understanding (Portfolio, Transdisciplinary research, Projects, Colloquium, Capstone/Dissertation)
- Knowledge Enhancement (ability or skills)
Learning at the postgraduate level is driven by published lines of inquiries that is enacted through studio based learning, workshops, theoretical reflections and field work. This approach cultivates a creative practice through engagement in diverse contexts, collaborative and participatory approaches leading to knowledge development.
Program learning approaches include:
- A theoretical and historical knowledge of philosophies, approaches and methods of technology and change, including but not limited to Law, Gender, Politics, and Socio-Economics.
- Methods of Hands-on and critical making as means of research and design.
- Methods of speculative and participatory creativity and research.
- Frameworks and methodologies of ethical perspectives and self-reflexivity while critically thinking about technology and change.
Upon successful completion of the course, graduates will have the capabilities to:
- Make connections by understanding contexts: Read and critique technologies and infrastructures through a socio-political lens, remaining alert to geographical and local conditions.
- Recognise relationships: Analyse and unpack the reciprocal relationship between design of digital technologies/infrastructures and societal change.
- Make Visible: Employ making to construct arguments through a range of media, as a way to make hidden assumptions, possibilities, and implications visible.
- Transparency & Integrity: Be aware of and transparent in articulating one’s individual position with respect to social, cultural, and political implications of digital technology and societal change.
- Understand complexity: Read, parse and interpret concepts in relation to both policy and practice of governance and development.
The above-mentioned capability sets could lead to a wide range of opportunities, including,
- Pursuing doctoral research,
- Holding positions in policy-making and advocacy,
- Educators, journalists and commentators,
- Social entrepreneurs and creative practitioners in the private sector or development sector organizations and donor agencies.
The program is informed by the following disciplines:
Digital Arts, Film
Language and Literature
Research and Collaboration
The students under this program will have the opportunity to work with the following centers and labs at Srishti.
Centre for Education, Research, Training and Development (CERTAD)
Center for Public History (CPH)
The Center for Experimental Media Arts (CEMA)
Frugal Design DESIS Lab
LeNS LAB – Learning Network for Sustainability
Odde Research Center
The Kabir Project
Advanced and complex technological systems are shaping the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of everyday life in India. At the same time, whether intended or not, the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of India are shaping how these systems are being design, developed, and used. This inter-relationship is hardly stable; it is emergent and controversial. Furthermore, the design, development and notions of usage and consumption of these infrastructures seems to be driven by the ideals from a geography of elsewhere, such as the Silicon Valley or Singapore, and recently even China. Technology & Change offers an orientation towards inquiring, problematizing and shaping both technological systems and social change in this rich, complex, controversial grounds in India.
The emerging technological and socio-political developments in India present fertile ground for the exploration of themes that seek to problematize contexts including the relationship between citizenship, democracy & technological infrastructure. The program in Technology & Change offers a space to explore answers to how technology is shaping civic participation & local governance; the role of technology in the public sphere, such as news and politics; what are the possibilities and implications of living at the heart of this emergent, fragile, and controversial interrelationship in India? How can we locate and conduct art, design, and humanist inquiries to unearth and unpack the emerging and yet-to-emerge implications? Broadly, how can we develop a located, southern knowledge about the imagination, design, development and usage of socio-technical infrastructures?
The program offers a space to unsettle the binaries of tradition/modernity, science/religion, structure/agency, physical/psychological, and provides for a nuanced understanding of the everyday as lived experiences, helps develop a grammar that is sensitive to the teleology of ethics.
If you are excited about technological systems and their interrelationship with social change, whether be it creatively and collaboratively shaping it or critically analysing its design and imaginations of use, or both, then the program is suited for you. You have a natural curiosity and openness to using inter or trans-disciplinary methodologies and frameworks. You are driven by a desire to critically and creatively engage with the digital material, in combination, with other social and political aspects. You seek to develop criticality in your approach and do not believe that design or technology alone can solve problems, and in fact create more problems than they claim to solve. And yet you want to explore a creative possibility of engagement in these intersections.
An active, collaborative, and practice-oriented approach guides your learning. It combines theoretical and philosophical texts with your unique emerging practice. The practice here is rather a way of inquiry, where art, design, and first-hand observations and analysis come together to construct independent formulation of knowledge around the questions and concerns of technology and change in India and elsewhere. You, with your unique personalities and specific learning styles, are at the center of the process. You will be encouraged to constantly question, critically analyze and look through different lenses on the current and emerging practices of technology and change, through experiential learning and reflection, both collaborative and independent. The program will better inform your ability to imagine and shape digital systems and infrastructures, while also developing critical abilities to question and challenge commonly held assumptions and status-quo. You will engage with critical discourses as well as critically make, bringing together ‘thinking’ and ‘making’ in a unique combination.
A postgraduate program in Experience Design is an ideal qualification for those students who wish to pursue a career that entails researching, imagining, policy making, planning and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders and actors in the broader context of technology and change. The program offers you a pathway to a number of different opportunities including doctoral research, position in policy-making and advocacy organisations, as educators, as journalists and commentators, as social entrepreneurs and creative practitioners in the private sector or for development sector organizations and donor agencies. The program also allows you to apply into a PhD program in a related area.
All admission and fee related information could be viewed on our admissions page.