Dalit Women's Activism
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Social Movements Lab / B189, Bay 5, Smith Warehouse
A discussion of Dalit women's activism, which will be facilitated by Anusha Hariharan and Jessica Namakkal.
Dalit scholarly work and Dalit movements emerged alongside each other in India. Sharmila Rege published the book, _Writing Caste/Writing Gender: Narrating Dalit Women’s Testimonios_, in 2006 - shortly after Dalit movements across the country came together to form national Dalit representation, and fought to go to the World Conference Against Racism in Durban in 2001. This was a watershed moment for Dalit social movements in India as it was the first time that the category of 'caste' was constructed as similar to 'race', as a set of practices and structures with an oppressive, rather than 'traditional', history. This is an important point to note, as it is a radical shift from a liberal, modern trajectory. While this introduction speaks more to the politics of knowledge production, and the creation of Dalit epistemes, Rege alerts us to how these questions have been raised by the movements as much as within academia, indicating that these are not separate realms but are in conversation with each other. This issue is one among others that we will touch upon in our discussion.
In preparation for our discussion, please read the following two short texts:
Sharmila Rege, “Introduction,” Writing Caste/Writing Gender: Narrating Dalit Women’s Testimonios (pp. 1-8)
Thenmozhi Soundarrajan, “The Black Indians: Growing up Dalit in the US, finding your roots, fighting for your identity," Outlook
For further reading: https://feminisminindia.com/2017/04/18/six-books-dalit-women-writers/
*A free lunch will be provided for participants!*
Anusha Hariharan is a PhD student in UNC-Chapel Hill's Department of Anthropology. Jessica Namakkal is an Assistant Professor of the Practice in Duke's International Comparative Studies Program.