Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Mumbai | Tuljapur | Guwahati | Hyderabad

TISS Patna Centre's Special Lecture: Reading Gail Omvedt


Oct. 4, 2021

Venue: Online

Reading Gail Omvedt (1941-2021)


Lecture by Prof. Kalpana Kannabiran

Date: 4 October 2021

Time: 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm

To register in advance, click here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwqcOmtpz4iGdAWpIwzmLCcRaTqfAhkbMoX


Gail Omvedt’s prolific writing from the early 1970s to the second decade of the 2000s spanned a vast spectrum. From her constructive critique of urban autonomous feminism to her incessant, multiple threads of interrogation of Marxist frameworks to understand India, to her chronicling of the resistance to Hinduism on the Indian subcontinent, she explored the ways in which Dalits, bahujans, adivasis, peasants, workers, primarily rural, mostly women, fought untiringly for equality and dignity through struggles for land and water, against untouchability, for fair wages, for access to places of worship, and to natural resources.  She opened out to view the pathways to spirituality, belonging and a higher purpose crafted from below by Dalit Bahujan peoples that is materially rooted and not mediated by Brahmanical Hinduism. She mapped the anti-caste interrogation of the state–ruling class nexus at different historical moments and illuminated the multiple cadences of ‘enlightenment’ on the subcontinent that represented a philosophical cascade that surpassed the European Enlightenment that followed.  Her life and writings were anchored in mass struggles by rural people – predominantly women – for land and water, for a life unfettered by caste, and for the dignity guaranteed by the exemplars over centuries and affirmed in the Constitution under the watch of Babasaheb Ambedkar.  I will attempt in my talk to explore in somewhat cursory fashion slices of her writing and the implications of her work for the politics of organizing in protest movements and her theoretical/methodological challenge to the social sciences.

Bionote of the speaker

Kalpana Kannabiran works at the intersections of sociology, law and gender studies.   A co-founder of Asmita Resource Centre for Women, Secunderabad, she has taught at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (1999-2009), and was Regional Director, Council for Social Development, Hyderabad (2011-2021).  She is the author of Tools of Justice: Non-Discrimination and the Indian Constitution (2012), editor of Violence Studies (2016), and co-author of the recently published Gender Regimes and the Politics of Privacy: A Feminist Re-Reading of Puttaswamy vs Union of India (2021), among others.

To register in advance, click here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwqcOmtpz4iGdAWpIwzmLCcRaTqfAhkbMoX

You may send your questions in advance using the registration page. You may also raise questions in the Q&A session.

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