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Confronting Caste: Panel Discussion on Caste and Legal Regimes


10 Dec Confronting caste Part of Confronting Caste

Recent events in South Asia and across the globe have once again brought questions of caste to the forefront of public discourse. Confronting Caste is a series of conversations hosted by the King’s India Institute at King’s College London, to address these questions. The series will expand the scope of academic engagement with caste as a system of social power, with the aim to dissect and dismantle its modes of operation within coloniality-modernity.

The Caste and Legal Regimes panel will look at the theory and practice of law as a site of operation of caste power and explore how caste relations play out in the pursuit for legal resolutions. Panellists will draw insights from both South Asian and wider global contexts to discuss the challenges of criminalizing caste practices through existing legal framings; and the possibilities of moving towards a Dalit feminist legal consciousness.

During the first semester of 2020-21, Confronting Caste will host three online panel events, release three independent podcast episodes, and foster further conversations across platforms. To find out more about the series, propose collaborations, and get involved, please contact Srilata Sircar ( and Vignesh Rajahmani (


Prabha Kotiswaran – King’s College London

Dr Prabha Kotiswaran is Professor of Law and Social Justice. She previously taught at SOAS. She received her undergraduate law degree in India from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore and then an LLM and SJD (doctorate) from Harvard Law School. She also practiced law at the New York law firm of Debevoise and Plimpton. Dr Kotiswaran’s main areas of research include criminal law, transnational criminal law, feminist legal studies and sociology of law.



Anju Lingham – King’s College London

Anju Christine Lingham is a Commonwealth Scholar pursuing her doctorate at King’s College London. Her research project is a socio-legal study of Dalit women’s activism in Bangalore, Nagpur and Delhi.

Murali Shanmugavelan – SOAS University of London

Dr Murali Shanmugavelan is an independent researcher and consultant. He currently leads a national level research team to assess fairer working conditions of gig workers in Bangladesh - a project implemented by iSocial Bangladesh for Fairwork Project at Oxford Internet Institute. His academic research is mainly concerned with the disavowal of caste in media and communication studies and digital cultures. His work contends that caste - similar to race, gender, and sexuality - should be recognised as a category in communications studies and digital cultures. Bringing together critical academic skills and extensive professional experience in media, ICT, internet in the International development sector, Murali is currently working on the re-manifestation of caste and social hierarchies in digital cultures such as caste-hate speech, big data, and platform economies.

Uma Ganesan – Manchester University

Uma Ganesan is an Associate Professor of History and her research interests include modern South Asian history with special emphasis on women and gender; caste, religion, and social movements in modern South Asia; history of colonialism and nationalism.

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