‘Intimate Politics: Caste, sexuality and discrimination in popular culture in western India’
Dr. Shailaja D. Paik,
University of Cincinnati,
Over the past three decades there has been an increasing academic interest in the field of popular culture and cultural studies. However, in the Indian context there is little study about the popular practices of caste-based cultural forms, social, and sexual labour. This paper examines the everyday living of Dalit women performers to uncover the intimate social, cultural, and political battles as well as Dalit women's struggle for survival. The paper draws upon archival sources and oral interviews with Dalit women to unravel the ways Dalit performers have waged their social, cultural, economic, and political battles against the dominant castes and the state.
Dr. Shailaja Paik is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati. She is the author of Dalit Women's Education in Modern India: Double Discrimination and several articles. Her article on Dalit womanhood in colonial Western India is forthcoming in the Journal of Women's History. Her second book project examines the public performance of Dalit women and men in modern Maharashtra.