Juned Shaikh- Spatial Entanglements of Dalit Literature: Caste and Bombay City, 1945-1982

This talk traces these spatial entanglements and foregrounds the importance of caste and class to it.

Monday, March 05, 2018

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall


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This paper situates the processes of spatial transformation of Bombay city and the making of the field of Dalit literature in conversation with each other. At various moments in the city’s history some of these processes intersect and get entangled. For instance, one mode of the transformation of the city was urban planning and most urban planners prescribed slum clearance. Many Dalit writers lived in these slums and their poems, short stories, and autobiographies depict a vivid portrait of life within it. Dalit literature as a new field of literature emerges and responds to this concatenation and by the 1970s earned awards and recognition from the literati and the State. An important keyword for Dalit literature was revolution – its founders trace its lineage to world revolutionary events including the Russian revolution.  On the other hand, urban planners of Bombay too were either from the US or UK or borrowed from global planning practices of the time. This paper traces these spatial entanglements and foregrounds the importance of caste and class to it.   
 
Juned Shaikh is Assistant Professor, Department of History at the University of California Santa Cruz. He is finishing the manuscript of his book Caste, Class, and the City: Entanglement of Social Hierarchies in Bombay 1898-1984

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