FROM THE MARGINS
July 31 @ 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
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The Department of History is delighted to invite you to:
FROM THE MARGINS is a lecture series presented by the Department of History, Ashoka University. Its primary aim is to showcase the work of eminent historians and social scientists on various communities from the margins of human society – people who have been historically marginalised on the basis of their race, gender, caste, class, politics, and so on. Through an exploration of these issues, we intend to utilise Ashoka’s Liberal Arts environment to foster academic dialogue across disciplines while engaging with crucial academic questions of the day. As such, we warmly invite students and faculty members of all departments to join us for these lectures. They are intended for audiences across disciplines.
The talk will attempt to see Dalit and caste conceptions of environment in modern India, by focusing on three broad themes: first, an apologist and recuperative Brahminism, manifested in a stream of environmentalism; second, Dalit environmental thought — mythological, anecdotal, theoretical and rational; and third, Dalit activism, with its certain embedded conceptions of ecology, such as the new commons. Taken together, they highlight how Dalit meanings of environment have counter-posed themselves to ideas and practices of neo Brahmanism and to certain dominant strands of environmental thought. They underline that with all its ambiguities and multiplicities, Dalit thought represents an attempt to produce a new conception of environment as spatial equity, and build a case of environmentalism, free from burdens of caste.
Mukul Sharma is a Professor at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. He has a multidisciplinary and diverse background in academics, research, development and media. Combining the disciplines of development, environment and media studies, he has published sixteen books and booklets in English and Hindi, the latest being Caste and Nature: Dalits and Indian Environmental Politics (OUP, 2017) and Green and Saffron: Hindu Nationalism and Indian Environmental Politics (Permanent Black, 2012). His other publications include Human Rights in a Globalised World: An Indian Diary (2010) and Contested Coastlines: Fisherfolk, Nations and Borders in South Asia (co-authored, 2008). He is presently working on eco-religion, sacrality and politics in South Asia.
Free and open to public.