Combating Caste on U.S. College Campuses

A Dalit History Month Speaker Panel

Panel discussion 2:30-4 pm; reception in McMillan Courtyard immediately to follow. Please RSVP below.

In this student-faculty collaborated talk, Shailaja Paik (University of Cincinnati) and Prem Pariyar (California State University, East Bay) join Shefali Chandra (Washington University) and members of the student group Ekta and the Asian Multicultural Council to discuss how caste functions in college campuses within the South Asian diaspora, brainstorm tools to combat it, and connect caste with other transnational hierarchical systems. Join Ekta and AMC to kick off Dalit History Month this April!

Shailaja Paik is associate professor in the Department of History and affiliate in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her scholarship and research interests focus on the politics of caste, gender and sexuality, and she is committed to advancing the dialogue in anti-caste and anti-colonial struggles, human rights, transnational women’s history, women-of-color feminisms and particularly on gendering caste and subaltern history. She is working on her third monograph, “Becoming ‘Vulgar’: Caste Domination and Normative Sexuality in Modern India,” and co-editing a book on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). Paik has published several articles on a variety of themes, including the politics of naming, Dalit and African-American women, Dalit women’s education and new Dalit womanhood in colonial India in prestigious international journals.

Prem Pariyar (MSW, ASW) is a Bay Area social worker and alumnus of California State University, East Bay’s master’s of social work program. He is a prominent Dalit Rights activist in the United States, and was instrumental in the implementation of caste protections in the California State University system in January of this year. In 2021, he was a recipient of the SOLAR Award (Outstanding Student Leader) at Cal State East Bay. Currently, he is an elected delegate to the National Association of Social Workers assembly from the California Chapter. Pariyar has been featured in Al Jazeera, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Kathmandu Post.

Co-sponsored by Ekta (South Asian equality collective) and the Asian Multicultural Council with the Program in Global Studies and the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Generous support from the Center for Humanities; Department of History; Law, Identity, and Culture; and South Asian Languages and Cultures.