Smartphones in Working-class Hindu Devotion: Lecture by Kathinka Frøystad

Kathinka Frøystad delivered a lecture on ‘Picturing Piety: Smartphones in Working-class Hindu Devotion’. It was chaired by Prathama Banerjee.


One decade after the smartphone revolution began to reach working-class segments across India, the religious dimensions of non-elite smartphone use remain understudied. Based on longitudinal anthropological fieldwork among low-income devotees of Maa Kali on the outskirts of Kanpur since 2013, this talk explores how they integrated smartphones into their religious practices and vice versa. Instead of the digital pujas that dominated the early scholarship of digital Hinduism, their smartphone use was dominated by a Goffmanian self-presentation as followers of normative Hindu practices, which begs the question of what they curated and what they concealed.

Kathinka Frøystad, anthropologist and Professor of Modern South Asian Studies, University of Oslo, Norway.

Prathama Banerjee is Professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

Tuesday, 6 February 2024, 4 pm, Zoom