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2020-2021: On Page and on Stage: Celebrating Dalit and Adivasi Literatures and Performing Arts

Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement:

On Page and on Stage: Celebrating Dalit and Adivasi Literatures and Performing Arts

AHRC Reference: AH/S008608/1

More info to come soon...


2014-2016: AHRC Network – Dalit Literatures

For all follow-ups please check this website: https://dalitliterature.wordpress.com

Principal Investigator Dr Nicole Thiara, Centre for Postcolonial Studies at Nottingham Trent University, UK; nicole.thiara@ntu.ac.uk
Co-Investigator Dr Judith Misrahi-Barak, EMMA, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier, France; judith.misrahi-barak@univ-montp3.fr

Writing, Analysing, Translating Dalit Literatures

The quality of literature created by one of the most oppressed and silenced communities in India is to be researched and brought to new audiences for the very first time by a team working under Nottingham Trent University’s Centre for Postcolonial Studies, in partnership with the research centre EMMA, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier, France.

Dalits, formerly referred to as Untouchables, are at the bottom of India’s caste system and form roughly 20% of the country’s population. Writing by the Dalit community has up until now been almost exclusively explored from a sociological and historical perspective, and has rarely been analysed for its literary quality.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the research will be led by Dr Nicole Thiara, lecturer in English at Nottingham Trent University’s School of Arts and Humanities, and Dr Judith Misrahi-Barak, lecturer in English at Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier, France, within the research centre EMMA.

Dalit literature and its representation and assertion of marginalised cultures is the most significant development in Indian literature in the last three decades. It is often highly innovative in its form, narrative perspective and use of language but so far only the work of a few Dalit authors has been translated into English and other European languages.

It has not yet received the international recognition it deserves because there has been very little research which allows non-experts to engage with these unique texts.

The project aims to create a research network which puts Dalit literary texts into context and makes them accessible to a wider audience, while also analysing them as literary artefacts, drawing on the methods of literary criticism and postcolonial and feminist theory.

As part of its Research Network series ‘Translating Cultures’, the AHRC will fund a series of conferences, workshops and other events that are exclusively dedicated to the analysis of this previously almost ‘invisible’ literature outside of India.

Establishing an international dialogue between key researchers in the areas of Dalit literature, the project will foster a close collaboration between UK and European academics working in the field of literary and cultural studies and Indian scholars researching in this field, as well as cultivating contacts with authors, translators and publishers of Dalit literature.

The Advisory Board consists of Laura Brueck (Northwestern University, Chicago), Toral Jatin Gajarawala (New York State University), Aniket Jaaware (Pune University), Sharan Kumar Limbale, Sanal Mohan (Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam); Pramod Nayar (University of Hyderabad), Anupama Rao (Columbia University, New York), K. Satyanarayana (EFL-U, Hyderabad) and John Zavos (University of Manchester).

A blog, volumes of edited essays, special editions of academic journals and articles in peer-reviewed journals will also allow non-experts in South Asian Studies, researchers in literary studies, students and the public to engage with this work.






2012-2014: “Key Cultural Texts in Translation”


Principal investigator: Prof. Kirsten Malmkjær (University of Leicester, UK). Partners: Dr Adriana Serban (University of Montpellier 3, France) and Prof. Meifang Zhang (University of Macao, China).

Financed by the AHRC Research Networking Scheme “Translating Cultures” 

Publication: https://benjamins.com/#catalog/books/btl.140/main

In the context of increased movement across borders, this book examines how key cultural texts and concepts are transferred between nations and languages as well as across different media. The texts examined in this book are considered fundamental to their source culture and can also take on a particular relevance to other (target) cultures. The chapters investigate cultural transfers and differences realised through translation and reflect critically upon the implications of these with regard to matters of cultural identity. The book offers an important contribution to cultural approaches in translation studies, with ramifications across different disciplines, including literary studies, history, philosophy, and gender studies. The chapters offer a range of cultural and methodological frameworks and are written by scholars from a variety of language and cultural backgrounds, Western and Eastern.