Wofür steht die JNU und wem gehört ihr Campus? – Der symbolische Deutungskampf um den Campus der Jawaharlal Nehru Universität

  • Anna Schnieder-Krüger (Autor/in)


This article examines how the campus of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has changed since 2016 (materially and structurally) and how these developments influence everyday life on the campus. I argue that these changes represent a negotiation process around the symbolism of JNU, which links to the understanding of the idea of nationality as well as the idea of a university. This article shows how the JNU university administration (and furthermore the government) strategically attempts to intervene in the campus space and thereby change the idea represented by JNU. Further, I look at resistant patterns of action and reinterpretation as well as transmedia memory practices used by students to sustain an inter-generational narrative of JNU as a utopian space based on the identity markers “excellent teaching” and “anti-establishment culture.” In this context, I understand the university and its campus as a space that is discursively and materially constructed through narrative, collective memory practices, and everyday tactics. Starting from an apparent micro-event in campus life, I argue that the campus has become a symbolic battlefield in the ongoing fight over spaces, bodies, and memories. Everyday practices of resistance are used to counter state- directed techniques of control.


JNU, student activism, space, everyday tactics of resistance, transmedia memory practices, idea of a university