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The Vulgarity of Caste: A Social and Intellectual History of Dalit Performance of Tamasha

Shailaja Paik, University of Cincinnati

February 16, 2023 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · A71 Louis A. Simpson Building

Chadha Center for Global India

The Vulgarity of Caste offers the first social and intellectual history of Dalit performance of Tamasha — a popular form of public, secular, traveling theater in Maharashtra — and places Dalit Tamasha women who represented the desire and disgust of the patriarchal society at the heart of modernization in twentieth century India. Drawing on ethnographies, films and untapped archival materials, Paik illuminates how Tamasha was produced and shaped through conflicts over caste, gender, sexuality and culture.

Shailaja Paik is Taft Distinguished Professor, Department of History and Affiliate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Asian Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her first book Dalit Women’s Education in Modern India: Double Discrimination (Routledge, 2014) examines the nexus between caste, class, gender, and state pedagogical practices among Dalit (“Untouchable”) women in urban India. Her second book The Vulgarity of Caste: Dalits, Sexuality, and Humanity (Stanford University Press, 2022) focuses on the politics of caste, class, gender, sexuality, and popular culture in modern Maharashtra. She is working on her third monograph “Becoming ‘Vulgar’: Caste Domination and Normative Sexuality in Modern India” and co-editing a book on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming).

This event is part of the ‘Power, Inequality, Dissent’ series led by Prof. Divya Cherian (History) and Dr. Harini Kumar (History/CGI).

Co-sponsored by the Program in South Asian Studies and the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies

To register for this event, please use this form.

Shailaja Paik will be holding office hours on February 17, 2023 for Princeton students. Please use this form to sign up for an appointment.

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