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IS Colloquium – Lilly Irani

January 10, 2019 @ 3:00 pm

“Entrepreneurial Citizenship: Promising Knowledge and the Subsumption of Hope”

Lilly Irani, Assistant Professor, Communication, Science Studies, Critical Gender Studies, UC San Diego

The ethos of innovation and entrepreneurship, honed in high-technology firms, has colonize philanthropy, development projects, government policies, and event thinking about international diplomacy. Innovation competitions, hackathons, and corporate mythologies around figures such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs proliferate optimism that passionate dreamers can change the world. States offer resources or even new forms of citizenship to such promising individuals. In this talk, I trace the history of this entrepreneurial form of citizenship in India, tracing it from colonial era practices to contemporary ones, at one legal, economic, and cultural. I then turn to ethnography of design work, drawn from 14 month of fieldwork in Delhi, to trace the social and knowledge practices by which public, private, and NGO actors turn the planning of development into the production of “opportunity.” These practices subsume hope, I argue, and discipline politics in turn. The talk draws from my forthcoming book Chasing Innovation: Making Entrepreneurial Citizens in Modern India (Princeton University Press).


Date: January 10, 2019

Time: 3pm

Location: GSE&IS Building, Room 111

Reception to follow

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*All colloquia are fragrance-free events. Please refrain from wearing scented products such as perfumes/colognes, scented lotions, clothing with strong detergent scents, etc. while attending this event as they can trigger serious health issues for those with fragrance allergies. We aim to maintain a welcoming and accessible environment for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Thank you for your consideration for all members of our community.


January 10, 2019
3:00 pm


Information Studies Department