Rahul Mukherjee

Penn Humanities Forum Faculty Fellow

20162017 Forum on Translation

Rahul Mukherjee

Dick Wolf Assistant Professor of Television and New Media Studies, Cinema Studies Program, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania

Rahul Mukherjee is the Dick Wolf Assistant Professor of Television and New Media Studies in the Cinema Studies program (Department of English) at University of Pennsylvania. His book project examines environmental controversies related to radiant infrastructures such as nuclear reactors and cell antennas which irradiate promises of development and simultaneously generate intense fears of carcinogenic radiations. His writings have appeared in the journals Media, Culture & Society, BioScope, New Media & Society, and Science, Technology & Human Values, and the edited book collection Sustainable Media. Drawing on the conceptual lenses of cultural studies, media theory, and science studies, he has been trying to re-theorize the materiality of technoscience publics by attending to frameworks concerned with affect, media practices, and relational ontologies. Rahul has been part of a collaborative project exploring ICT usage in Zambia and more recently has embarked on another fieldwork researching the use of memory cards and memory sticks as part of mobile media assemblages affording circulation of vernacular music videos in India."

Radiation in Translation: Technological Mediation of Environmental Risks

"Radiation in Translation" explores environmental controversies related to radiation from nuclear reactors and mobile towers. Leaks of ionizing radiation from atomic power plants could lead to cancerous mutations in human tissues. Cell towers ensure smooth mobile phone connectivity, but the non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation they emit is suspected to be carcinogenic. What makes radiation from reactors and towers especially uncanny and dangerous is that they are invisible to the human eye. My project explores how technological mediation of Geiger Counters and radiation detectors make invisible and intangible radiation, demonstrable and palpable to a general audience. Such technological mediation involves translating radiation from one sense perception to another. Through my project I ask: How can we think of translation phenomenologically? How can we re-conceptualize translation in the context of ecocriticism?