Preeti Mudliar’s research explores the intersection of technology and society and mainly centres around the practices of technology use. She has a PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Texas, Austin and is currently an Assistant Professor at IIIT-Bangalore. Through her work, Preeti addresses the role of technology in developmental issues as well as everyday life through ethnography and qualitative research methods. Her research is often an outcome of paying close attention to contemporary socio-technical practices and a desire to apply academic rigour to unearth and explain why, how, and what makes things tick.
Preeti’s past work has included the study of an interactive voice response platform for citizen journalism in Chhattisgarh, making sense of the discourse around Aakash - the world’s cheapest tablet from India, and the role of mobile instant messaging systems such as WhatsApp in subverting gender segregation among youth. Her research has been published in journals such as Information Technologies and International Development and Mobile Media and Communication and ACM conference proceedings for SIGCHI and ICTD .
She is also a keen follower of South Asian popular culture and recently published a paper analysing the discourse of the ‘foreign’ in Tamil cinema in the journal Communication, Culture & Critique . Having begun her professional career as a journalist with The Indian Express , she values engaging with non-academic and academic audiences alike. Her more recent popular press articles have appeared in The Hindu as well as the The Hindu Business Line .
As a public policy scholar at The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, Preeti is studying BharatNet, which is the largest digital inclusion project of its kind in the world. Through this project, India aims to provide broadband connectivity to 2,50,000 village panchayats. Preeti’s research proposes to complement current policy preoccupations with the building of infrastructural access to broadband with research that seeks to understand how rural India is using its broadband Internet connections.
Read Policy Report No. 19 here: Rural India on the National Optic Fibre Network: What Happens Next?.