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Global Icons


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Table of Contents

Illustrations; Acknowledgments Introduction: Icon Matters Part 1. Incorporations: Theorizing the Icon 1. Moving Technologies; 2. Corporeal Apertures Part 2. Biographs: The Material Culture of Global Icons 3. Media Frictions; 4. Public Image Ltd.; 5. Those Lives Less Ordinary; 6. Volatile Icons Part 3. Locations: The Politics of the Icon 7. In the Name of the Popular; 8. Becoming Social Notes; References; Index

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Develops a materialist theory of global iconicity, taking into account the emotional and sensory responses that iconic figures elicit and the multiple modernities within which they are interpreted

About the Author

Bishnupriya Ghosh is Professor of English and affiliated faculty in the departments of Film and Media Studies, Comparative Literature, and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of When Borne Across: Literary Cosmopolitics in the Contemporary Indian Novel.


"This analysis of global icons and the enigmatic ways in which they work through the global fabric and the local public imagination revolves around three very contrasting images from different fields of signification. They are of three women: Phoolan Devi, Arundhati Roy, and Mother Teresa...Ghosh, taking Coca Cola as an instance, looks at how the global intersects the local in unpredictable ways: on the one hand, it lures the local into the global paradise of consumption and, on the other, its own proliferation as global icon offers the protest movements the cultural means to form or deform such attachments to the global, subversive ends." C. S. Venkiteswaran, The Hindu, February 27th 2012 "This is an ambitious account of the plastic potentializaton of images in the age of iconoclashes. Into the impersonal world of global mass communications, Bishnupriya Ghosh restores the richness of gender, god, nature, and chaos, making our epistemological encounters with mundane objects ingredients of a sumptuous materialist media theory of the bio-icon." Rey Chow, author of Sentimental Fabulations, Contemporary Chinese Films "Global Icons is a thoughtful intervention into vital issues not usually examined together: the political potential of contemporary mass-mediated 'bio-icons' and embodied engagements with media images at the current conjuncture of neoliberalism and globalization. Bishnupriya Ghosh compellingly revitalizes materialist analyses of media, of iconic efficacy, and of neoliberal image regimes and, while she's at it, performs a refreshing deprovincialization of the 'global'."--Kajri Jain, author of Gods in the Bazaar: The Economies of Indian Calendar Art

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