About Me

Dr. Swapnil Rai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film, Television and Media at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. As an interdisciplinary scholar, she works at the intersection of media studies, critical cultural communication, women’s and gender studies, and industry studies. Focusing on the global south, she investigates how transnational networked cultures intersect with the media industries and with questions of policy, geopolitics, and audiences. She has published her scholarship in journals such as Communication, Culture & Critique, Feminist Media Studies, International Journal of Communication, South Asian Popular Culture, Media, Culture and Society, JumpCut, Journal of the School of Literature (JSL), and Cinephile.

Dr. Rai earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Radio, TV, and Film at the University of Texas at Austin. She also served as a Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow at the Center for Contemporary South Asia at Brown University and taught at the College of Film and the Moving Image at Wesleyan University.

In her prior experience as a journalist, writer, and editor, she covered beats pertaining to cinema, art, and culture. She also worked in the multimedia and information services industry for Thomson Reuters. She tweets @i_swapnil_rai.

Recent publication

This article analyzes the localization strategies of Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar, positing India as a distinctive cultural-industrial contact zone. The Indian market’s size, scale, and cultural and linguistic diversity make it a remarkable region for an epistemic inquiry into global industrial contact zones created by transnational streaming platforms.

Read More