The News Event in Public Mediations of Community: Lecture by Francis Cody

Francis Cody delivered a lecture on ‘Law at Large: The News Event in Public Mediations of Community’. It was chaired by Ravi Sundaram. 


Excerpted from a chapter of The News Event: Popular Sovereignty in the Age of Deep Mediatization, this talk examines legal reporting at the Madras High Court to better understand how public images of the law bear on questions of caste, gender, and political community.  The analysis demonstrates how public affect and perceived opinion on the question of community loop back into the texts of High Court judgements and comments made by Justices.  When authority is routed through the mediation of normative news-consuming publics and not only in legal procedure, the judiciary is vulnerable to the very media of publicity through which it displays its power.  

Francis Cody is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto. His first book, The Light of Knowledge, won the 2014 Edward Sapir Book Prize. Cody’s new book, The News Event explores questions of law, technology, and violence in the context of journalism and populist politics. 

Ravi Sundaram is Professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

Friday, 28 July 2023, 4.30 pm, Seminar Room and Zoom