Book Launch: Francis Cody's "The News Event: Popular Sovereignty in the Age of Deep Mediatization"

When and Where

Friday, September 15, 2023 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Room 208N
The Munk School
North House, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON, M5S 3K7


Francis Cody
Kajri Jain
Alejandro Paz


In the hypermediated world of Tamil Nadu, Francis Cody studies how “news events” are made.

Not merely the act of representing events with words or images, a “news event” is the reciprocal relationship between the events being reported in the news and the event of the news coverage itself. In The News Event, Francis Cody focuses on how imaginaries of popular sovereignty have been remade through the production and experience of such events. Political sovereignty is thoroughly mediated by the production of news, and subjects invested in the idea of democracy are remarkably reflexive about the role of publicly circulating images and texts in the very constitution of their subjectivity. The law comes to stand as both a limit and positive condition in this process of event making, where acts of legal and extralegal repression of publication can also become the stuff of news about news makers. When the subjects of news inhabit multiple participant roles in the unfolding of public events, when the very technologies of recording and circulating events themselves become news, the act of representing a political event becomes difficult to disentangle from that of participating in it. This, Cody argues, is the crisis of contemporary news making: the news can no longer claim exteriority to the world on which it reports.


About the Author

FRANCIS CODY is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto, where he is the Director of the Dr. David Chu Program in Contemporary Asian Studies and the Centre for South Asian Studies. He has been teaching at U of T since 2008. His research focuses on language, politics, and media in southern India.


North House, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON, M5S 3K7