Shaheed Nick Mohammed, associate professor of communications at Penn State Altoona, received the top paper honors at the 2013 International Communication Association (ICA) conference in London for his paper “Outsourced, (re)presentation and the politics of the image.” The paper was presented for the Intercultural Division and was co-authored with Avinash Thombre of The Universlty of Arkansas at Little Rock.
The research analyzed U.S. portrayals of Indians and Indian culture through examination of themes in and reviews of NBC’s 2010 series Outsourced. This study examined the dynamics of hegemonic power to “fix” meanings and establish stereotypes versus the possibilities of challenging such stereotypes in a global context. The authors found that while the program perpetuated long-standing stereotypes and dominant neocolonial tropes, it also provided some limited insight into the realities of modern Indian life and facilitated presentations of counter-typical images that emerge out of modern global realities such as offshore outsourcing.
ICA is an academic association for communication scholars with more than 3,500 members in 65 countries. Since 2003, it has been officially associated with the United Nations as a non-governmental association.