This volume develops a historically informed phenomenology of caste and untouchability. It explores the idea of ‘Brahmin’ and the practice of untouchability by offering a scholarly reading of ancient and medieval texts. By going beyond the notions of purity and pollution, it presents a new framework of understanding relationships between social groups and social categories.
An important intervention in the study of caste and untouchability, this book will be an essential read for the scholars and researchers of political studies, political philosophy, cultural studies, Dalit studies, Indology, sociology, social anthropology and Ambedkar studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Notional Brahmin and The Idea of Original 1. The ‘Ideal’ Brahmin and The Dead Being 2. Physical body and Social body 3. Brahmin Householder as Renouncer 4. Touch-un-ability and ‘Ideal’ Brahmin 5. Translating Touch-un-ability Conclusion: The Dead Being is still Alive
Srinivasa Ramanujam is a Tamil writer and translator. He has translated and published the collected essays of D.R. Nagaraj, as well as plays of Sundar Sarukkai, and essays by Ashis Nandy, M.S.S. Pandian, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, and Gopal Guru. He is the author of Tharkolaigalai Kondaduvom and Sanyasamum Theendamayum. He was formerly a theatre activist and has directed plays of Bertolt Brecht, Kingsley Bass (Jr.), and Siegfried Lenz.