2017 2nd Nepal and Himalayan Studies Seminar
(South Asia and Indian Ocean Studies Seminar / KINDAS International Seminar)
Co-organized by Nepal Academic Network
【Date and Time】June 26 (Monday), 2017 16:30-18:00
【Venue】Conference Room (AA463), 4F, Research bldg No.2, Yoshida Main Campus, Kyoto University
(Building No.34 on the above map)
【Speaker】Stephen Christopher (Syracuse University)
【Title】Fractured Caste Consciousness and the Problem of State Recognition in Himachal Pradesh, India
Throughout Himachal Pradesh, there are ongoing legal petitions by Halis, a ploughing caste, to restore their constitutional benefits as an oppressed minority. Although they suffered under patronage exploitation, many Halis are disenfranchised from Scheduled Caste benefits because their ancestors converted to Arya Samaj – a Hindu reform movement based on Vedic infallibility – as a mode of social uplift. Other Halis feel that their Scheduled Caste status is a misrecognition of their identity as tribal Gaddis. And still others have adopted higher caste names through legal emendation, with limited success. This talk analyzes how these strategies have led to fractured Halis caste consciousness. Some Halis are Gaddi aspirants, others not; all are awkwardly suspended between Dalit, tribal and general quotas. By understanding the role of state legitimization in tribal social formations, Scheduled Tribe Dalits (STD) move from the shadowy borders to the center of ethnic contestation.
Profile of the speaker:
Stephen Christopher is a PhD candidate in anthropology from Syracuse University. From 2013-15, he conducted research through a Fulbright grant on the caste configuration of the Gaddi tribe in Himachal Pradesh, India. His focus is on tribal Dalits and their struggle to negotiate statist classificatory regimes in the everyday domains of spirituality and ritual, class and caste. Stephen has taught in China, Korea and America, and in India this upcoming fall. He expects to graduate in 2018.
【Contact】INDAS office Email: indas_office[at]asafas.kyoto-u.ac.jp
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