This website provides a forum for researchers of Dalit literature.
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in 2014-16, this research network is co-ordinated by Dr Nicole Thiara, lecturer in English at Nottingham Trent University’s School of Arts and Humanities, and Dr Judith Misrahi-Barak, Associate Professor in English at Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier, France.
Dalits, formerly referred to as Untouchables, are at the bottom of India’s caste system. Writing by the Dalit community and its representation and assertion of marginalised cultures is the most significant development in Indian literature in the last three decades. Dalit literature is often highly innovative in its form, narrative perspective and use of language but 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.
As part of its Research Network series ‘Translating Cultures’, the AHRC has funded 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 area of Dalit literature, the project has fostered a close collaboration between academics working in the field of literary and cultural studies, as well as cultivating contacts with authors, translators and publishers of Dalit literature.
The network has currently published a special issue on Dalit literature in the Journal of Commonwealth Literature 54 (1) in March 2019 and the edited collection Dalit Text: Aesthetics and Politics Re-imagined (Routledge, 2019), co-edited by Judith Misrahi-Barak, K. Satyanarayana and Nicole Thiara.
We also received AHRC Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement to co-organise events with cultural organisations to promote and celebrate Dalit and Adivasi literature and performing arts. The funding period started on 1 March 2020.