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 Faith, Religion, and Anti-Caste Politics panel will focus on understanding the role of faith-based communities, religious spaces, and religious organizations in shaping anti-caste mobilizations across South Asia. The panellists will address a range of topics from the purported castelessness of ‘Islamic egalitarianism’ to the role of religiosity in expanding the Brahminical fold and how a critical reading of the histories of secular regimes can reveal the ways in which they obfuscate the flows of caste power.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Vignesh Rajahmani (email@example.com).
Kriti Kapila – King’s College London
Dr Kriti Kapila is a social anthropologist whose research focuses on the work of law in contemporary India, including in the anthropology of law, genetics and genomics. She is the Academic Director for the International School for Government and has extensive experience in running cutting-edge professional development and executive education programmes.
Jusmeet Singh Sihra – Sciences Po and Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jusmeet Singh Sihra is pursuing his joint doctorate in the Department of Political Science, Centre de Recherches Internationales, Sciences Po, Paris and in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His dissertation, titled ‘Relegation of Dalits in Urban India: A Study of Socio-Spatial Segregation in Ulajhpur', studies the mechanisms that segregate the ex-untouchable (Dalit) castes in urban spaces
Rupa Viswanath – University of Göttingen
Rupa Viswanath is Professor of Indian Religions at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies at the University of Göttingen, and a Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College at the University of Cambridge. Her research and writing address the practices of secular regimes, histories of slavery in colonial South Asia, the political economy of caste, and the historical dynamics of religious authorities and institutions.
Shireen Azam – University of Oxford
Shireen Azam is pursuing her doctorate on the invisibilisation of caste among Muslims at the University of Oxford. Previously, she was at the journal Economic & Political Weekly. She founded and ran its digital initiative, EPW Engage, leading a team of writers, visual artists, and developers.