Research Radio Bonus Episode: Sensory Life of Caste in Indian Universities

In this episode, we speak to P Thirumal and Carmel Christy about higher education and media studies.

The classroom can be a space for us to engage in deep learning, rigorous debate, collaboration and critical thinking. It’s a space where our senses can be active and nourished. However, entry into the classroom has been historically limited to upper-caste cis men. What happens when these exclusions are challenged?

This is a bonus episode of Research Radio, where P Thirumal and Carmel Christy join us to discuss their EPW article on higher education in India and their scholarship on media studies. Dr P Thirumal teaches at the Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad. He teaches courses related to theory, history and media Science with reference to modernity and deep time. His scholarship has focused on the cultural histories of North East India including embodiment studies focussing on discriminatory practices of Dalit Bahujans in higher education institutions in India. Dr Carmel Christy K J is currently an International Fellow of the Urban Studies Foundation, Glasgow, which is affiliated to the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden. She teaches journalism at Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi. Her research on the politics of gender, sexuality, caste, religion, media and urban space broadly focuses on spatial production of marginality and responses to it in India.

We will be discussing their co-authored piece “Why Indian Universities Are Places Where Savarnas Get Affection and Dalit-Bahujans Experience Distance.” We will also discuss Christy’s book “Sexuality and Public Space in India: Reading the Visible” and her article “Universities as Spaces of Disaffection” and Thirumal’s recent article “Regurgitative Violence: The Sacred and the Profane in Higher Education Institutions in India” and “Dominant Bodies and Their Ethical Performances: Violence of Caste Embodiment in Higher Educational Institutions.

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