Event / Webinar on “Global Christianity and the Transformation of Dalits in Colonial and Postcolonial Kerala” at KCHR, Thiruvananthapuram

The Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) invites you to a Webinar on  Global Christianity and the Transformation of Dalits in Colonial and Postcolonial Kerala’ by Professor P. Sanal Mohan.

Date: 10 July 2020 (Friday)

Time:3:00pm (IST)

You can join the webinar with a valid Gmail id using the following link from 2.45 pm onwards on 10th July 2020. There is no separate registration process.


The webinar will be recorded and you can watch the Live Stream at


About the Speaker: Professor P. Sanal Mohan currently teaches at the School of Social Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam. He was the former Director of the KCHR. He was Smuts Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge and Post-Doctoral Visiting Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Gottingen, Germany, among others. His areas of research interest include colonial modernity, social movements and questions of identity, Dalit movements and Christianity in India His book Modernity of Slavery: Struggles against Caste Inequality in Colonial Kerala was published by the Oxford University Press in 2015.

About the Lecture: The Transforming power of the ‘word of God’ proclaimed the globality of Christianity experienced by Dalits in colonial and postcolonial Kerala. What were the implications of the word of God in the everyday life of Dalits where meaning was produced and circulated along with the work in the fields of the landlords? Christianity provided a different  idea of the sacred and a new religious and social imagination to the people. It was this notion of the sacred that resignified Dalits as socially significant from the 19th century onwards. I wish to address the dynamics of this resignification exploring archival and ethnographic materials. Although Christianity entailed globality in its very inception, in this paper I am specifically concerned with Global Missionary organizations founded in the final years of the 18th Century and their tryst  with Dalit communities in Kerala.

Shared to KSM by Ashok R. Chandran, Publications Officer, MIDS, Chennai.

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Journal article (OA) / The Social History of Caste Colonies in Kerala

Pramod, Maya. ‘As a Dalit Woman: My Life in a Caste-Ghetto of Kerala’. CASTE / A Global Journal on Social Exclusion 1, no. 1 (February 2020): 111-24.
Abstract: It is awfully significant to enquire how the lower casts Dalit women have read about socio-economic and cultural aspects of Dalit colony life, that have changed our life and society.
I argue that the colonies serve as an index of their inferior social status. It serves more of their ghettoisation than for their empowerment. It further distances them from society and helps to appropriate their labour.
This is the continuation of the age-old practice of caste discrimination and deprivation that kept them away from the mainstream while appropriating their labour for the general development of society.
This paper focuses on the rereading of social norms which evolved through my probing of the social history of ‘caste colony’ as part of my research, especially in Dalit women.
More info and full text (OA): https://doi.org/10.26812/caste.v1i1.69
Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup
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Journal article / Lessons for Postcolonial Organisation Studies from Dalit Women’s Protests in Tea Plantations

Raman, K. Ravi. ‘Can the Dalit Woman Speak? How “Intersectionality” Helps Advance Postcolonial Organization Studies’. Organization 27, no. 2 (March 2020): 272–90.
Abstract (edited): Through a sustained engagement with postcolonial/subaltern studies scholarship, I inquire into how intersectionality as an approach could advance an argument in the context of postcolonial organisation studies. This ensures a submerged possibility of understanding ‘workplace resistances’ and their varied dynamics.
The case study involves both contemporary ethnographic and in-depth historical accounts sourced from the Dalit women’s protests at tea plantations in Kerala in 2015 (along with pertinent secondary sources).
The article explores how ‘self-organising’ by the mis-organised, during the course of the struggle, turned them into active political subjects: a ‘subject position from which to speak’.

Exposing certain theoretical constraints within the postcolonial approach and incorporating insights from deeper subjective aspects of the labour process, social reproduction in postcolonial perspectives, and the feminist literature on intersectionality as an integrative narrative, an attempt is made to supplement postcolonial organisation studies and open up the gateway to its advancement.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1177/1350508419888899

Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup
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