In April 2013, the South Asian Studies Program, Brown-India Initiative, and the graduate student committee on Caste and Inequality in Urbanizing India presented a two-day conference at Brown University. Read the full conference report below.
The Questioning Marginality Conference focused on cities, anticipated as spaces of emancipation from long-standing social hierarchies, to examine the reconfiguration of caste, gender, and religious identities in ways that have continued to foster marginalization of certain social groups in India. Dalits and Muslims, in particular, continue to face considerable social and economic exclusion in urban India. The conference sought to explore how caste and religious identities shape the everyday experiences of discrimination and inequality for individuals, families and groups in Indian cities, and to unpack the gendered nature of these experiences. Interrogating empirical research and social theory, the conference brought four major scholars and public intellectuals to Brown's campus whose research focuses on the intersection of caste, religion and gender in contemporary India, and who have been engaged with important public debates on inequality and discrimination.
The Four Keynote speakers address the group on the following topics:
ANUPAMA RAO, BARNARD COLLEGE, NEW YORK
POLITICAL VALUE AND PRECARIOUS LIFE: GLOBAL ITINERARIES OF DALIT SUBALTERNITY
Discussant: HILARY SILVER
Chair: GAYATRI SINGH
GOPAL GURU, JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY, DELHI, INDIA
URBAN BODIES AND STUFFED MINDS: UNDERSTANDING THE SOCIAL DYNAMICS OF INDIAN CITIES
Discussant: COREY WALKER
Chair: LINA FRUZZETTI
IRFAN AHMAD, MONASH UNIVERSITY, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
MARGINS OF KNOWLEDGE: NATION-STATE, 'THE OTHER' AND THE DISCIPLIN(E)ING OF SOCIOLOGY/ANTHROPOLOGY
Discussant: NATHANIEL BERMAN
Chair: VAZIRA ZAMINDAR