The Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies
(A/PIA) Program at the University of Michigan & the Ambedkar
Association of North America have co-organized a symposium to address
the theme â€œDismantling Casteism and Racism.â€ The symposium will examine
the contemporary and historical intersections between anti-racist and
anti-caste struggles in South Asia and the U.S.
Light lunch will be provided.
Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd, Ph.D.
is an award-winning scholar, political theorist, and one of the most
prominent anti-caste activists and intellectuals in India. He is
currently the director of the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive
Policy at Maulana Azad National Urdu University. Prof. Shepherdâ€™s most
recent publications include Turning the Pot, Tilling the Land: Dignity
of Labour in Our Times (with co-writer Durgabai Vyam, 2007) and a memoir
titled From a Shepherd Boy to an Intellectual (2019).
Thenmozhi Soundararajan is
a U.S.-based filmmaker, transmedia artist, and Dalit rights activist.
She is the founder of Equality Labs, an organization that uses community
research, socially engaged art, and technology to end the oppression of
caste apartheid, Islamophobia, white supremacy, and religious
intolerance. In 2015, Soundararajan was was a Robert Rauschenberg
Foundation fellow, during which time she helped curate #DalitWomenFight,
a transmedia project and activist movement.
Ronald E. Hall, Ph.D.
is Professor of Social Work at Michigan State University. His research
specializations includes a focus on intraracial racism, colorism,
caste, and mental health. His publications include The Color Complex:
The Politics of Skin Color Among African Americans (edited), and The
Scientific Fallacy and Political Misuse of the Concept of Race.
is a Doctoral Student in the Counseling Psychology program at the
College of Education at Purdue. Her research focuses on the continued
psychological impacts of colonization in South Asian populations, and
seeks to understand how historical oppression and current experiences of
racism impact mental and physical health.
Gaurav Pathania, Ph.D.
is a sociologist and currently teaches at The George Washington
University at Washington DC. His current project explores Dalits and
Black activism in the US. In 2018, he published his first book, The
University as a Site of Resistance: Identity and Student Politics" with
Oxford University Press.
Manan Desai, Ph.D.
is an Assistant Professor in Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies
and the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan.
He also serves on the academic council of the South Asian American
Co-sponsored by the Department
of American Culture, Center for South Asian Studies, Barger Leadership
Program, Department of History, Department of English Language &
Literature, Periyar Ambedkar Study Circle, Association for Indiaâ€™s
Development, and American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin.