Becca Savory Fuller

Department: Drama
Discipline: Drama
Research Centre/Unit: South Asian Research Centre

Project Summary

'Embodying "new India" through remixed global performance: Flash Mobs redefined in contemporary urban India (2003-15)'

My thesis examines the rise of flash mobs and the practice of flash-mobbing in three Indian cities - Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai - to ask how the performance genre has evolved within an urban Indian context, since its emergence in 2003.  It combines ethnographic and online archival research methods to construct this recent history, and argues for a greater understanding of the particular cultural politics of 'global' internet performance trends within specific socio-historical contexts.

I show how the evolution of the internet from a text-dominated to an image- and video-dominated media has resulted in a spectacularisation of flash mob performance.  Within India this has led to new remixed formations of the genre that borrow from Bollywood dance.  I argue that this Bollywoodised formation of the flash mob genre has been absorbed into representations of 'new' India at the start of the twenty-first century, and raise questions of who is excluded from these representations of national identity.

Supervisory Team

My current PhD research is funded by UKEIRI as part of the Exeter's UK-India interdisciplinary programme 'Intangible Histories', in collaboration with the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in Bengaluru (Bangalore), India. 

The project is co-supervised by Professor Jerri Daboo in Drama (Exeter) and Professor Shivali Tukdeo in Social Sciences (NIAS).

Wider Research Interests

Performance online and in social media ; Digitally-mediated performance in everyday spaces ; Contemporary Indian performance ; Cross-cultural performance-media ; Interactive & participatory performance.