The Presence of “America” in India: Where and How Does “America” Appear and What Are The Effects?

India conference

During the last decade, the circulation of ideas, commodities, cultural practices, and cultural products perceived as coming from the U.S. and gaining traction in India has accelerated. We understand this process as a dialectical one, full of multiple transformations/translations/ and effects, and with a substantial history, where India is not merely a “receiving” region, but rather a complex set of national and subnational cultural and political groups actively involved in articulating relationships to “America.” ¬†We use the term “America” advisedly as it does not presume to reference all of the Americas but rather to capture the sense of the U.S. as both a geo-political entity and a cultural imaginary, that is, not only as a political actor, mediating between Pakistan and India, but also as a cultural influence in many of the contemporary changes in Indian daily life and institutional structures. These include shifting practices of food consumption, modes of fashion, notions of secular democratic politics, the restructuring of Indian higher education institutions, the emphasis on “American” accents in English speech, employment in U.S. corporation customer service “call centers,” the impact of the presence of the US business corporations (such as IBM), new developments in Indian agriculture and engineering, the migration of hip hop style dancing into Bollywood musicals, the much contested “brain drain” to the United States, and so on.

Final Conference Program


“Perspectives on U.S.-India Relations” Focus Interview
WILL-AM 580, Illinois Public Media Radio
Thursday, April 5, 2012, 10:06 AM
Conference Guest Speakers:
Udaya Narayana Singh, Pro-Vice Chancellor; Tagore Chair at Rabindra Bhavana, Visva-Bharati, West Bengal, IndiaMadhu Viswanathan, Ph.D., Professor of Business Administration and Miller Faculty Fellow in the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, College of Business, UIUC

Conference Sponsors

Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies – India Studies Fund
Center for Translation Studies School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics
College of Business
College of Education
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Anthropology
Department of English
Department of Landscape Architecture
Department of Sociology
Hewlett International Conference Grant
International Programs and Studies
Program in Comparative and World Literature
Religious Studies
School of Social Work
UIUC Office of Public Relations
Vice Chancellor for Research