Dalit Feminist Theory: A Reader, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Dalit Feminist Theory

A Reader, 1st Edition

Edited by Sunaina Arya, Aakash Singh Rathore

Routledge India

280 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-10-03
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Description

Dalit Feminist Theory: A Reader radically redefines feminism by introducing the category of Dalit into the core of feminist thought. It supplements feminism by adding caste to its study and praxis; it also re-examines and re-thinks Indian feminism by replacing it with a new paradigm, namely that caste-based feminist inquiry offers the only theoretical vantage point for comprehensively addressing gender-based injustices.

Drawing on a variety of disciplines, the essays in the volume discuss key themes such as Indian Feminism versus Dalit Feminism; the emerging concept of Dalitpatriarchy; the predecessors of Dalit feminism, such as Phule and Ambedkar; the meaning and value of lived experience; the concept of Difference; the analogical relationship between black feminism and Dalit feminism; the Intersectionality debate; and, the theory-versus-experience debate. They also provide a conceptual, historical, empirical and philosophical understanding of feminism in India today.

Accessible, essential and ingenious in its approach, this book is for students, teachers, specialist scholars as well as activists and the interested general reader. It will be indispensable for those engaged in gender studies, women’s studies, sociology of caste, political science and political theory, philosophy and feminism, Ambedkar studies, and anyone working in areas of caste, class or gender-based discrimination, exclusion, and inequality.    

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Acknowledgments

Contributors

 

Introduction: Theorizing Dalit Feminism

SUNAINA ARYA AND AAKASH SINGH RATHORE

PART I

Indian Feminism vs Dalit Feminism

1 A Critical View on Intersectionality

NIVEDITA MENON

2 Problems for a Contemporary Theory of Gender

SUSIE THARU AND TEJASWINI NIRANJANA

3 Indian Feminism and ‘Dalit Patriarchy’

GOPAL GURU; V. GEETHA; UMA CHAKRAVARTI

 

PART II

Predecessors of Dalit Feminism

4 Dalit Women’s Agency and Phule-Ambedkarite Feminism

SHAILAJA PAIK

5 Ambedkarite Women

WANDANA SONALKAR

6 Ramabai and Ambedkar

SHARMILA REGE

 

PART III

Lived Experience as 'Difference'

7 Brahmanical Nature of Violence Against Women

SHARMILA REGE

8 Vilifying Dalit Women: Epics and Aesthetics

VIZIA BHARATI; Y.S. ALONE

9 Dalit Women's Autobiographies

SHARMILA REGE

 

PART IV

What Difference does 'Difference' Make?

10 'Difference' through Intersectionality

KIMBERLÉ CRENSHAW

11 Dalit Women Talk Differently

GOPAL GURU

12 Debating Dalit Difference

SHARMILA REGE

 

PART V

Intersectionality in India

13 Why Intersectionality is Necessary

S.J. ALOYSIUS, J.P. MANGUBHAI AND J.G. LEE

14 The Dalit Woman Question

SUSIE THARU

15 Responses to Indian Feminists’ Objections

MARY E. JOHN;MEENA GOPAL

 

PART VI

Toward a Dalit Feminist Theory

16 Feminist Fictions: A Critique of Indian Feminism

JULIE STEPHENS

17 Revitalising Dalit Feminism

SMITA M. PATIL

18 Dalit Women’s Experience: Toward a Dalit Feminist Theory

KANCHANA MAHADEVAN

Index

About the Editors

Sunaina Arya is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Philosophy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. She is completing a dissertation on Feminist Philosophy from a Dalit Perspective. Her areas of research include Ambedkarite social and political philosophy, philosophy and psychology, and the philosophy of social sciences.

Aakash Singh Rathore is a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, and International Fellow of the Centre for Ethics and Global Politics-LUISS, Rome, Italy. He has taught at Jawaharlal Nehru University and other universities including Delhi, Toronto, Berlin, Rutgers and Pennsylvania. He is author of seven books, including Indian Political Theory (2017), Plato’s Labyrinth (2018), and A Philosophy of Autobiography (2019), and Chief Editor of B. R. Ambedkar: The Quest for Justice (5 vols, forthcoming). He is the Series Editor of The India of Our Dreams (14 vols, forthcoming) and editor of its first volume, Ideas of India (with Ashis Nandy). Among his other forthcoming works are B. R. Ambedkar: A Definitive Biography and Mind and Muscle. He is also an Ironman triathlete, and has finished five Ironman Triathlons.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHI019000
PHILOSOPHY / Political
PHI034000
PHILOSOPHY / Social
POL029000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy
POL035010
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOC028000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
SOC031000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination & Race Relations
SOC050000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes
SOC053000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies