The University of Oslo’s 5th Annual Contemporary India Seminar
Date: 12 September 2013
Place: University of Oslo, Niels Treschow’s building (12th floor)
Once a staple of Indian sociological and political analysis, caste has been curiously marginal in recent academic discourses on India. The contemporary marginality of caste owes undoubtedly to the opening up of new areas of study concerning gender, neoliberalism, conflict, development and more. Yet caste continues to be a significant force in Indian society and politics, taking on new guises even as older pervasive hierarchies continue to seep into the present. To interrogate caste in contemporary India in its many forms and aspects, this seminar invites papers from scholars working on this subject across disciplines. We encourage our participants to address the contemporary workings of caste, and the practices and ideas associated with it, from an empirical point of departure. Representations of caste as ‘a system’, we believe, are partial and subjected to the positioned gaze of the beholder, and as such grounded in time and space. Moving beyond holistic theory, we invite participants to interrogate the specificities of caste empirically and as embedded in particular local and / or regional contexts.
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