Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society Organization Logo Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society


Dalit Studies and the Study of Caste: The State of the Field

04.14.2022 – 04.15.2022

Event Summary

Caste is among the oldest and most stubbornly entrenched forms of social inequality in human history. And as an object of research, it is “entangled” in intellectual and political agendas that have their own history, primarily but not exclusively tied to B. R. Ambedkar’s radical critique of caste as an ideology and institution in the middle of the twentieth century. Where does the study of caste stand today? In particular, how do we evaluate the place of what is today called Dalit studies within the wider study of caste? How and why have our perspectives on caste and what used to be called untouchability changed? This conference brought together some of the most prominent researchers on caste from a variety of disciplines to ask what conceptual, disciplinary, and organizational tools we will need to carry the critical study of caste forward into the twenty-first century.


Gajendran Ayyathurai (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
Laura Brueck (Northwestern University)
Charu Gupta (Delhi University)
Meena Kandasamy (Independent)
Sanal Mohan (Mahatma Gandhi University)
Doug Ober (University of British Columbia)
Shailaja Paik (University of Cincinnati)
Kaneesha Parsard (University of Chicago)
Ramnarayan Rawat (University of Delaware)

This event was co-sponsored by the Entanglements of the Indian Past research project at the Neubauer Collegium and the Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS) at the University of Chicago.