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Daily Wires and Daily Blossoms: Cultivating Regimes of Circulation in Tamil India's Newspaper Revolution

Authors

  • Francis Cody

    Corresponding author
    1. UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
      Asian Institute and Anthropology Department
      Munk Centre for International Studies
      University of Toronto
      1 Devonshire Place
      Toronto ON M5S 3K7
      francis.cody@utoronto.ca
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Asian Institute and Anthropology Department
Munk Centre for International Studies
University of Toronto
1 Devonshire Place
Toronto ON M5S 3K7
francis.cody@utoronto.ca

Abstract

Two of Tamil India's most popular newspapers both claim to be using “spoken” as opposed to “written” varieties of Tamil, despite appealing to different class and gender sensibilities. Developing a method that can take into account the relations among (1) explicit metadiscourses on journalistic language, (2) variegated reading practices, and (3) the formal qualities of newspapers as text artifacts, I argue that what is at stake in the difference between the two papers in my comparison is in fact a difference in regimes of circulation—cultivated habits of animating artifactually mediated texts, enabling the movement of discourse along predictable social trajectories. Claims to using the language of speech in the press refer to two very different phenomena: a Tamil written to be spoken aloud at the point of reading in one paper, and a “spoken Tamil” made to be read silently in the other.[media, publics, reading, textuality, circulation, India]

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