"An inescapable comparison: casteism and racism in the diaspora"

Religious Diversity Colloquium Winter 2016/17

  • Date: Nov 22, 2016
  • Time: 14:00 - 15:30
  • Speaker: Meena Dhanda (University of Wolverhampton)
  • Meena Dhanda is a Reader in Philosophy and Cultural Politics at the University of Wolverhampton where she has taught for the last 24 years. She migrated from the Indian Punjab to the U.K. as a Commonwealth Scholar at Oxford University in 1987 and was later awarded a Rhodes JRF. Her first publication on the question of caste and untouchability was an article in 1993 “L’eveil des intouchables en Inde” in Le respect : De l’estime à la deference: une question de limite ed. by Catherine Audard, les Editions Autrement - Serie Morales, France. Translated by Isabelle di Natale, which she wishes had been published in English as she does not read French! She engaged with the problematic question of the identity of a dalit in her DPhil which was later published as The Negotiation of Personal Identity (Saarbruken: VDM Verlag, 2008). She is interested in questions of intersecting discriminations and in her collection Reservations for Women (ed.) (New Delhi: Women Unlimited, 2008) she touched upon gender and caste. From 2007, Meena has engaged in transdisciplinary studies connected with caste, publishing several papers. ‘Punjabi Dalit Youth: Social Dynamics of Transitions in Identity’, (Contemporary South Asia, 2009); ‘Runaway Marriages: A Silent Revolution?’, (Economic and Political Weekly, 2012); ‘Caste and International Migration, India to the UK’ (The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration, 2013); ‘Certain Allegiances, Uncertain Identities: The Fraught Struggles of Dalits in Britain’ (Tracing the New Indian Diaspora, 2014); ‘Do only South Asians reclaim honour’? (‘Honour’ and Women’s Rights, 2014); ‘Anti-Castism and Misplaced Nativism’ (Radical Philosophy, 2015) and ‘Ensuring Protection against Caste Discrimination in Britain: Should the Equality Act Be Extended? (International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, 2016).
  • Location: MPI-MMG, Hermann-Föge-Weg 12, Göttingen
  • Room: Conference Room
"An inescapable comparison: casteism and racism in the diaspora"

For more details please contact vdvoffice(at)mmg.mpg.de.

As a Leverhulme Research Fellow (2010-12) she conducted primary research on Punjabi dalits in her project Caste Aside: A Philosophical Study of Cultural Identity and Resistance of Punjabi Dalits. In 2013-14, Meena led a team of expert researchers on a project on ‘Caste in Britain’ commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission UK and published two substantial research reports: Dhanda, M., et al (2014a) Caste in Britain: Socio-legal Review. Equality and Human Rights Commission Research Report no. 91, and Dhanda, M., et al (2014b) Caste in Britain: Experts’ Seminar and Stakeholders’ Workshop. Equality and Human Rights Commission Research Report no. 92. Alongside other thinkers she teaches Ambedkar and Fanon in her philosophy course: ‘Self and Other: The Demands of Social Justice’ at the University of Wolverhampton. She has been an active member of the Society for Women in Philosophy UK for more than 25 years.

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