In celebration of 20 years of UCHI and as part of our ongoing You Should… series, we’ve asked former fellows and other friends of the Institute to recommend something related to their work or process. Read them all here.
You should watch Sambhaji Bhagat, a Dalit artist, activist who has revived and revolutionized Jalsa, a Marathi folk performance art to foster Dalit rights but also challenge other social inequalities, including gender and those resulting from neoliberal globalization. Traditionally, all the parts were performed by men. Sambhaji includes women in his Jalsas. In this clip he excoriates those who take the measure of a person in terms of their caste and identifies who these people are, some in Delhi (i.e., politicians) some in Mumbai (i.e., corporate and entertainment titans) and some right here in the audience. He addresses issues of Hindutva and neoliberal globalization among others.
There are few translations of his performance and along with colleagues in Mumbai, we’ve begun a project of translating his songs and poems in an anthology.
– Manisha Desai
Professor of Sociology and Asian and Asian American Studies
University of Connecticut
Who is Manisha Desai? Manisha Desai is Professor of Sociology and Asian and Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut. Committed to decolonizing knowledge and social justice, her research and teaching interests include Gender and Globalization, Transnational Feminisms and women’s movements, Human Rights movements, and Contemporary Indian Society. Currently, she’s working on a book manuscript on the Changing Contours of the Women’s Movement in India. Based on nine months of ethnographic research, funded by the American Institute of India Studies Senior Fellowship, she examines the new articulations of women’s activism with Dalit struggles, Anti-Communalism, and the rural and urban crises of neoliberal policies for the marginalized. Her forthcoming publication with Rianka Roy, Krantijyoti Gyanjyoti Savitribai: The Light of Revolution and Knowledge is the start of a new project on what she calls “the second decolonial moment,” in the Global North and South, to bring the work of 19th century Dalit theorist Savitribai Phule and her collaborators in the Satya Shodhak Samaj (the Society of Truth Seekers) to a larger audience.
In advance of the upcoming election, we’ve asked members of the UCHI community to suggest a book, article, poem, painting, video, or piece of music that they think everyone should take a look at in this current moment.
Amanda Douberley says you should look at…
Rye Beach, New Hampshire(1863) by Martin Johnson Heade. It is the painting she is discussing with First Year Experience classes on virtual visits to the Benton this semester. Painted at the height of the American Civil War, it expresses all the turmoil, uncertainty, and ultimately hope that many of us are feeling right now.
Amanda A. Douberley is a historian of twentieth-century American sculpture and public art. She holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Art History, as well as English Language and Literature, from the University of Virginia. She is assistant curator/academic liaison at the University of Connecticut’s William Benton Museum of Art.
Manisha Desai is Professor of Sociology and Asian and Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut. Committed to decolonizing knowledge and social justice, her research and teaching interests include Gender and Globalization, Transnational Feminisms and women’s movements, Human Rights movements, and Contemporary Indian Society.
Ilene Kalish is Executive Editor at NYU Press, where she acquires books in the areas of sociology, criminology, politics, and women’s studies. With over twenty-five years of experience in academic publishing, she publishes books for the general reader as well as for the scholarly and professional reader.
Manisha Desai is Professor of Sociology and Asian and Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut, and currently Department Head of Sociology. Her most recent book is Subaltern Movements in India: The Gendered Geography of Struggle against Neoliberal Development (2016)
Co-sponsored by the UConn Humanities Institute and the Department of Sociology.
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“Transcribathon” describes the full range of the Early Modern Studies Working Group’s efforts to teach and develop the skills of paleography. UConn’s Transcribathon convenes bi-weekly and aims to make the experience fun and rewarding by providing participants an opportunity both to collaborate on a community project, and to receive useful research training for projects that require paleography.