Dalit Literature is an emerging field of interest in the world of Global Literatures. Till very recently, the Dalit experience has existed on the margins of canonical literatures in India. In the last few decades, with the emergence of Dalit politics, a new generation of Dalit writer/activists have sought to bring the Dalit experience to the Indian public sphere. This marginalized literature is inspired by the basic tenets of Phule-Ambedkarite thought --social equality and annihilation of caste. Dalit literature, also referred to as Phule-Ambedkarite literature, represents Dalits as protagonists and voices their subjective experience and concerns through the lenses of caste hierarchies and associated socio-economic inequalities. Infused with political activism, the main literary task of this genre is to cultivate the ground for socio-economic change in the lives of “broken people”.
The objective of this conference is to trace the historical and literary trajectory of Phule-Ambedkarite thought in a trans-national context. This conference aims to trigger a broad discussion on the various forms and aspects of Phule-Ambedkarite literature, and its resonance with social struggles worldwide. We welcome scholarly contributions from a broad spectrum of disciplines (such as literature, film, history, religion, anthropology, gender studies, political science, sociology, theology, etc) and addressing topics including (but not limited to):
1. Concept of Dalit identity in Phule-Ambedkarite Literature
2. Place of Dalit literature and Phule-Ambedkarite thought in Contemporary Politics
3. Phule-Ambedkarite thought in Feminist and Contemporary Global Literature
4. Discourse of Literary and Human Values in Dalit Literature
5. The relationship of Dalit Literature and Social/Political activism
6. Religion and its interpretation in Dalit literature
7. Multilingual Discourse and the role of translation in Dalit Literature
We invite abstracts (300-500 words) on the above or related themes by 25th December 2012. Selected participants will be notified by 30th December 2012. International participants will be provided free accommodation. The selected proceedings will be published in a conference publication.
This conference provides an ideal opportunity for international scholars to meet and exchange ideas with Dalit writers, thinkers and activists. The conference features talks by prominent scholars such as Christopher Queen (Harvard), David Blundell (Taiwan Univ., Thailand), Gail Omvedt, Raja Dhale, Yashwant Manohar, Mohandas Naimishrai among others.
About Nashik, India:
Conveniently located near Mumbai, Nashik is a major Indian city with a rich history of Ambedkarite Human Rights’ Movement. The temple entry movement started from Kalaram temple at Nashik in the 1930s. Post-Ambedkarite leader and a close political collaborator of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Karmaveer Dadasaheb Gaikwad hails from Nashik. This is also the native place of the famous Dalit writer Baburao Bagul, who has made substantial contributions to Dalit Literature. A great folk artist and singer of Ambedkarite Movement, Vaman Dada Kardak, has lived in Nashik. One of the most important attractions of Nashik is the Trirashmee Buddha Caves -- an erstwhile Buddhist monastery which houses beautiful stone sculptures more than two millennia old. Also, International Vipassana Meditation Center is just an hour away.
Chair, Dept. of Marathi Language and Literature
RNC Arts, JDB Commerce, and NSC Science College,
Phone: +91 98500 48073
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