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Pain, Personhood and the Collective: Dalit Life Narratives

Ganguly, Debjani

Description

Dalit life narratives have gained prominence in the last two decades in line with the increasing visibility of Dalits in the Indian public sphere and their vociferous demands for a more just political and social order. This can be productively situated not just in the contemporary global context of the proliferation of narratives andtestimonios of human rights violations in other parts of the world, but also in the context of an emerging conversation on the nature of "Dalit personhood" in the...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorGanguly, Debjani
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T22:25:11Z
dc.identifier.issn1035-7823
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/53367
dc.description.abstractDalit life narratives have gained prominence in the last two decades in line with the increasing visibility of Dalits in the Indian public sphere and their vociferous demands for a more just political and social order. This can be productively situated not just in the contemporary global context of the proliferation of narratives andtestimonios of human rights violations in other parts of the world, but also in the context of an emerging conversation on the nature of "Dalit personhood" in the Indian public sphere, a category infinitely more complex than legal subjectivity and abstract citizenship. The Dalit narratives analysed here are rich illustrations of this double movement: They witness on behalf of a suffering community and keep alive the singular, non-universal nature of Dalit pain through an aesthetic that is not wholly translatable into the lexicon of rights and justice. By invoking the historical and rhetorical force of two prose fictional genres, the Bildungsromanand the picaresque, the analysis has sought to recast the testimonio less as a proxy for the legal witnessing and amelioration of Dalit pain than as a rich and expressive medium of Dalit personhood. This way of reading Dalit lives accords India's ex-untouchables a stature beyond that of victims at the mercy of the capricious sentimentality of upper-caste solidarity.
dc.publisherCarfax Publishing, Taylor & Francis Group
dc.sourceAsian Studies Review
dc.subjectKeywords: Caste; Dalit narratives; India; Literature; Pain; Personhood
dc.titlePain, Personhood and the Collective: Dalit Life Narratives
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume33
dc.date.issued2009
local.identifier.absfor200520 - Indian Literature
local.identifier.ariespublicationu3025350xPUB272
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationGanguly, Debjani, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue4, December
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage429
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage442
local.identifier.doi10.1080/10357820903367109
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T09:51:57Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-77950777812
local.identifier.thomsonID000207919900002
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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