Theme of the Conference
It is overtly and covertly evident that, to a certain extent, the postcolonial intervention provided a distinct ideological and institutional framework for the oppressed, like the Dalits and women, to contest their subordination and oppression, one in which the most oppressed sections of society envisioned anti-caste egalitarian ideas and strove to build an alternative world free of exploitation and inhumanity. Also, implicitly or explicitly, the postcolonial discourse has shaped the consciousness and methodology of the oppressed in the South Asia. However, it is indeed unfortunate to note that the mainstream writing focusing on colonial and postcolonial South Asia did not integrate Dalit and feminist visions and their articulations as part of the South Asian experiences of colonialism and modernity. Thus, the Dalit scholarship showcases that the intellectual precinct usually considered outside the purview of postcolonial discourse has found the alternative techniques and methodology like autobiographical writings, confessional writings, life narratives, and small scale narratives, to challenge the postcolonial discourse’s most fundamental assumptions.
Similarly, gender issue in any society is subjected to multiple layers of subordination while postcolonial discourse incarnates women as victims of ‘barbarism and degenerate’ practices, which aim to justify colonization as a ‘mission of salvation’ and thus ‘white men are saving brown women from brown men’ (Spivak 2010, 310). This proposition of women being victim of barbarism and degenerative practices only, in fact, erases the women’s experiences of repression and subordination during the colonial and postcolonial times. This subordination makes the gender not only subject to male domination but also secondary to several societal constraints. For instance, the slogan “all the women are white and all the men are black, but some of us have breast”, indicates the difficulty faced by subaltern gender in the US. Similarly, this is the situation in South Asia, where Dalit and female gender are caught up in the complex web of hostile society. Moreover, South Asia, in particular, poses the problem of religious politics to both—Dalits and feminists—which calls for rethinking in terms of theorization in the present context.
In the context of the above discourse the conference shall focus on certain questions like: do the Dalit and feminist scholarship in South Asia function under the postcolonial discourse only or it exists outside it? Do the Dalit and feminist literary texts as literary artifacts draw their methodology from the postcolonial theory in South Asia or they have come up with their own methodology? Keeping close to the areas mentioned above, Abstracts may be developed for submission on the following sub-themes:
Critiquing Post colonialism
Marginalization and its vestiges and forms
Historiography of Feminist discourse
Historiography of Dalit Discourse
Dalit Discourse: Theory and practice
Dalit Discourse in South Asian Literature
Comparative Study of Dalit Discourses in Different languages
Dalit and Feminist consciousness in Folk Discourses
Intersectionality in Dalit Writings