Last month, controversy erupted again in California over the portrayal of the South Asian subcontinent in history textbooks. Among the disputed points was whether schools in California should teach Dalit history and the history of the caste system to students. While the word “Dalit” may ring unfamiliar to most outside the subcontinent, Dalit history is a burgeoning field of study in academia, both in the United States and India alike. We caught up with historian Ramnarayan Rawat (Univ. of Delaware), co-editor of the recently released Dalit Studies (2016), to ask him what Dalit studies is and what the future of the field looks like.
By Gillian O’Brien
On Easter Monday morning, April 24, 1916, about 1,600 Irish republicans seized control of a number of buildings in Dublin. Their headquarters was the General Post Office (GPO) on O’Connell Street where, close to midday, Patrick Pearse, one of the leaders of the rebellion, read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. This marked the beginning of an insurrection against British control of Ireland.
As I walk past Union Station in Washington, DC, just as when I used to walk towards Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago, homeless people talk to me, ask me questions, wish me a good Tuesday, and bless me whether I help them or not, whether I look at them or not.