Bhaskar Sarkar’s research addresses:
1) questions of modernity and community, imagination and participation, paying close attention to the institutions, circuits, and practices of global media assemblages.
2) popular agencies and media formations that emerge in the gaps between legality and legitimacy, and which remain pervasive and significant in spite of their “fringe” status and their informal, improvisational, often illicit modalities.
3) the political and cultural nodes of the global-popular, including diverse manifestations of populism.
4) uncertainty and risk; regimes of securitization; speculative practices and potentiations.
5) the Global South as method.
Sarkar is the author of Mourning the Nation: Indian Cinema in the Wake of Partition (Duke University Press, 2009), a critical exploration of the cinematic traces of a particular historical trauma. He has coedited the collections Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering (Routledge, 2009), and Asian Video Cultures: In the Penumbra of the Global (Duke University Press, 2017). He has also coedited two journal special issues: Postcolonial Studies (2005), on “The Subaltern and the Popular”; and BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies (2012), on “Indian Documentary Studies.” At present, he is completing a monograph titled Cosmoplastics: Bollywood’s Global Gesture, and a coedited collection of essays on the mediality of risk for the Routledge Handbook series. He has also begun work on a monograph about piratical practices in the Global South, and a second monograph on queer underground club cultures in millennial Los Angeles.
Sarkar serves on the advisory boards of the journals Cinéma&Cie, Media Theory, and Media Fields. At UC Santa Barbara, he is an affiliate faculty in Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Cultures, and History of Art and Architecture.