Writing, Analysing, Translating Dalit Literature

Lead Research Organisation: Nottingham Trent University
Department Name: Sch of Arts and Humanities

Abstract

This international network, which responds to the research agenda set by the AHRC theme 'Translating Cultures', intends to analyse the literature created by Dalits (formerly referred to as Untouchables), one of the most oppressed and silenced communities in India. People with caste backgrounds which used to be referred to as 'Untouchable' form roughly 20% of India's population. The term 'Dalit' (meaning 'broken' or 'crushed' in Marathi) has been chosen by 'Untouchables' themselves as a nom de guerre. Dalit literature with its representation and assertion of subaltern cultures is the most significant development in Indian literature in the last three decades, but this unique literary corpus has not yet received the international recognition it deserves.

Despite the fact that the 1950 constitution of independent India abolished Untouchability, discrimination against people of untouchable caste backgrounds has continued, validated by Hinduism. Inspired by the political activism that challenged the discrimination on the grounds of caste in Maharashtra in the 1970s, Dalit writer-activists developed a highly politicised literature in the vernacular language of Marathi. This set the precedent for the emergence of other regional Dalit literatures in vernacular Indian languages such as Tamil in Tamil Nadu, Malayalam in Kerala, Telugu in Andhra Pradesh, Kannada in Karnataka and Hindi. Dalit literature is often highly innovative in its form, narrative perspective and use of language but so far only the work of a few Dalit authors has been translated into English and other European languages.

This project, undertaken under the aegis of Nottingham Trent University's Centre for Postcolonial Studies, will open up an international dialogue on hitherto unresearched dimensions of Dalit literature. Even when studied in India by critics familiar with the original language of Dalit writing, the analysis of the literary quality of Dalit literature has been neglected; instead it has been almost exclusively explored from a sociological and historical perspective. This project aims to produce a network whose research outputs contextualise Dalit literary texts in order to make them accessible to a wider audience, but also analyse them as literary artefacts, drawing on the methods of literary criticism and postcolonial and feminist theory. Academic postcolonial literature courses increasingly include course texts in translation but rarely from Dalit literature because academic studies do not exist that specifically enable the non-expert to engage with these texts. This project, with its varied research output, intends to close this gap.

The grant will fund a series of conferences, workshops and other events that are exclusively dedicated to the analysis of this exciting and previously almost 'invisible' literature outside of India. The project will thus establish an international dialogue between key researchers in the areas of Dalit literature, foster the close collaboration of UK and European academics working in the field of literary and cultural studies with Indian scholars researching in this field and cultivate contacts with authors, translators and publishers of Dalit literature.

This project will produce several published research outputs, such as a multi-contributor volume and several articles in peer-reviewed journals, thus allowing non-experts in South Asian Studies, researchers in literary studies, students and the public to engage with this work, which tends to be produced in vernacular Indian languages for a regional audience. These outputs are aimed at sustaining the network and drawing attention to and discussing this wealth of literary material that has been largely neglected outside of India and thereby contributing to a dialogue with previously marginalised cultures and communities.

Planned Impact

Those outside academia benefiting from the network project include:

The Dalit literary movement in general: the network will increase its international visibility, stimulate more high-quality translations into English and other European languages but also other Indian vernacular languages. The Dalit literary movement will benefit from the inclusion of Dalit literature in contemporary debates surrounding literature and its critical and theoretical analysis; this inclusion in contemporary literary debates will encourage the Dalit literary movement to look beyond the sometimes enabling but also sometimes stifling cocoon of Dalit literary production and Dalit literary criticism in India.

Specific invited Dalit writers through international exposure at the networking events and public readings and closer engagement with an international, multi-disciplinary academic community. Dalit writers will deliver keynote speeches at the conferences and workshops and read from their work at the symposium at Leicester University, during the conference in Nottingham and the workshop in Montpellier. The investigators are currently communicating with the New Art Exchange in Nottingham, a gallery and cultural centre that fosters cross-cultural dialogue, to host a reading by the Dalit writer Sharankumar Limbale, and with the bookshops Les Cinq Continents and Le Grain des Mots in Montpellier to host a reading by the Dalit writer and critic Aniket Jaaware.

The Dalit community, in particular in the UK and the diaspora, by engaging with the network and thus reaching a wider academic and general audience for community and anti-caste discrimination projects; important non-academic partners in the network are for example the UK-based Dalit Solidarity Network (DSN), the Anti-Caste Discrimination Alliance (ACDA) and CasteAwayArts. Meena Varma of the DSN, Santosh Das of the ACDA and Reena Jaisiah and Rena Dipti Annobil have confirmed that they will attend the network's events and that they will publicise them on their websites and emailing lists.

Translators of Dalit literature through the development of a network of practitioners and theorists of translation, many of whom are not affiliated to academic institutions, in order to stimulate the production of more high-quality translations of Dalit literature. The network will draw on the expertise of the University of East Anglia's British Centre for Literary Translation in order to foster a professional practice of translation since so far Dalit writers are often forced to rely on the goodwill of non-professional translators who translate their work free of charge.

The publishing industry through networking with writers and translators and a wide academic and non-academic audience for Dalit literary texts at the proposed conferences and workshops. The investigators have already established contact with S. Anand, the Editor at Navayana (who confirmed attendance at the workshop in Hyderabad), the Director Nandini Rao and the Managing Director Veenu Luthria at Orient Black Swan in Hyderabad and the Assistant Editor Aakash Chakraborty at Routledge India.

Publications

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Misrahi-Barak J (2017) Interview with director Jayan K. Cherian in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature

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Misrahi-Barak J (2017) Interview with director Jayan K. Cherian in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature

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Thiara N (2016) Foreword

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Thiara N (2017) Editorial: Why should we read Dalit literature? in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature

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Thiara N (2017) Editorial: Why should we read Dalit literature? in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature

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Thiara N (2016) Subaltern Experimental Writing: Dalit Literature in Dialogue with the World in ariel: A Review of International English Literature

 
Description Our proposed research network aimed to develop a sustainable network for an international, multi-disciplinary dialogue on Dalit literature. By organising various events such as conferences, workshops and public readings, the research network succeeded in bringing together writers, scholars, translators, publishers and members from the general public from at least eight countries and three continents to create a space for an international debate about the way in which Dalit literature is analysed, disseminated and translated. In the process the research network fostered a research agenda whose multi-disciplinary approach transformed the way Dalit literature's literary and aesthetic features were perceived and analysed.

The network's main objectives were all met with resounding success.

We aimed to raise the visibility of Dalit literature outside India and make it accessible to multiple academic and non-academic audiences and we achieved this by hosting six major international conferences, symposia and workshops at Nottingham Trent University (June 2014), the University of Leicester (June 2014), the University of Montpellier (October 2014), the University of East Anglia (June 2016), Savitribhai Phule Pune University (December 2015) and Delhi University (December 2015). All events had Dalit writers as keynote speakers and were each attended by 30 to 100 people, which is excellent for conferences on such a relatively neglected area of research. The project therefore established an international dialogue between key researchers in the areas of Dalit literature, fostered the close collaboration of UK and European academics working in the field of literary and cultural studies with Indian scholars researching in this field and cultivated contacts with authors, translators and publishers of Dalit literature. All conferences were organised on a scale that was even more ambitious than we had originally planned in the grant application. This was partly due to additional funding that was provided by the University of Montpellier and Savitribhai Phule Pune University but also due to the fact that the research network was embraced by scholars, writers and translators to an extent that far exceeded our expectations.

We had planned to increase and refine the analytical methods employed in the study of Dalit literature and realised this by bringing together experts in the field of literary and cultural studies, in particular postcolonial studies, with experts in South Asian literatures, history and cultures. We succeeded in creating cross-disciplinary and theory-informed debates at our conferences and this bore fruit in the well-received network publications. The Special Issue on Dalit literature in the Journal of Commonwealth Literature and the edited collection Dalit Text (Routledge) include innovative and path-breaking research on Dalit literature as well as interviews with Dalit writers. It became increasingly apparent that it was of utmost importance to include Dalit writers at every stage in the analysis and translation of Dalit literature and we will continue to make sure that they play a central role in subsequent events organised by the research network.

We had intended to put particular emphasis on the topic of translation in relation to Dalit literature. We dedicated the UEA conference exclusively to this topic but we also made room for dialogue with Dalit writers and translators at all major events we organised. These debates gave impetus to various translation projects. Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy's poetry collection Before It Rains Again was published in the UK and India; Desraj Kali's novel Shanti Parav was published in 2020 by Orient Blackswan; Satish Chander produced an online publication of his translated poetry, The Fifth Veda, in 2020 and Kalyani Thakur Charal edited a translated collection of Bengali Dalit and Adivasi short stories and poetry, published by Stree in 2020.

As planned, we create a website to publicise the network's events widely and sustain it beyond the period funded by the award and we produced an email subscription list that keeps members of the network informed of events and facilitate and stimulate research in all areas relating to Dalit literature. We also created the digital publication channel Dalit Voice and Vision, which hosts recordings of some of the network events and which will cover future events and recordings of interviews, digital autobiographies and performances.
Exploitation Route The research network stimulated research on Dalit literature and had a strong cross-disciplinary impact on researchers in the field of postcolonial and cultural studies, Dalit studies and South Asian studies. In the short term, the research network's activities appear to have contributed to the fact that there are now postgraduate students working on research projects on Dalit literature in the UK, France and Spain, all of whom are supervised by members of the research network. This new generation of researchers has already benefitted from the connections that the network established and will continue to do so in the future.

The network's published outputs on Dalit literature, in particular the special edition in the Journal of Commonwealth Literature and the edited collection by Routledge as well as the articles authored by the PI and those produced by members of the network will benefit researchers in the fields of postcolonial and cultural studies, but also experts in the area of South Asian studies and will develop the discipline of Dalit literary studies.
Sectors Creative Economy,Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL https://dalitliterature.wordpress.com/
 
Description The research network that was created with the research network grant was supposed to raise the visibility of Dalit literature and introduce a wider audience to this still relatively unknown and neglected body of work. The public poetry readings by the Dalit poet Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy in Nottingham, the public film screenings of Jayan K. Cherian's film on the Dalit land struggle in Nottingham, Norwich and Montpellier, the creation of the network's website and YouTube channel have all contributed to raising Dalit literature's profile. We had excellent feedback on the public events and on the creation of the public online outputs from non-academic members of the network. In more concrete terms, the public engagement events with Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy in Nottingham led to his introduction to a UK publisher, Liverpool-based Erbacce Press, which published his so far unpublished poetry in English translation with the title Before It Rains Again in December 2016. The book's launch was hosted by the British Council in Bengaluru, India, on 10 March 2017. A Indian edition was subsequently published by Yoda Press. The Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement focuses on creating more opportunities for both Dalit and Adivasi writers and performers.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Creative Economy
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description On Page and on Stage: Celebrating Dalit and Adivasi Literatures and Performing Arts
Amount £80,350 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/S008608/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2020 
End 02/2021
 
Description Contribution of Savitribhai Phule Pune University to the conference held at that university. 
Organisation Savitribai Phule Pune University
Country India 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The research network held its fifth and penultimate conference at Savitribhai Phule Pune University on 14-15 December 2015. The title of the conference was Cast(e)ing Gender in Dalit Literature. It was attended by over 80 people from four different countries. Speakers included Dalit writers who are not affiliated to universities such as Urmila Pawar and Chhaya Koregaonkar. Judith Misrahi-Barak and Nicole Thiara organised the conference with the help of the local organisers Prof. Aniket Jaaware and Dr Chandrani Chatterji.
Collaborator Contribution Savitribhai Phule Pune University contributed 400000 Rupees (roughly £5000) covering the domestic travel of the presenters, their accommodation and lunch, breakfast and tea breaks. They also provided the lecture theatre and took care of the smooth running of the conference.
Impact The generous support of Savitribhai Phule Pune University of all domestic speakers made it possible for a large number of early career scholars from India to present papers. As a result of this we were able to include the essays (which were based on the conference papers) of five of those early career scholars in the edited collection of essays which we are currently preparing for publication for Orient Blackswan. Kiran Keshavamurthy will contribute the essay 'Cho Dharman: Caste and "Karical" Literature in Tamil Nadu'; Gopika Jadeja, 'Mother as fucked: Re-imagining Dalit Female Sexuality'; Shivani Kapoor, 'A Pox Upon Your House - Masculinities and Gender in a Dalit Male Autobiography'; Kanak Yadav, 'Author's Notes or Revisions? The Politics of Form in P. Sivakami's Two Novels'; and Chandra Sekhar, 'Spectacles of Victimhood: the Portrayal of Dalits in Telugu Cinema'.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Webinar series: Open Borders for Adivasi and Dalit Literature and Performing Arts 
Organisation Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Country Israel 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The webinar series, 'Open Borders for Adivasi and Dalit Literature and Performing Arts', was launched in October 2020. This online workshop series is organised by the Network 'Writing, Analysing, Translating Dalit Literature', hosted by the Postcolonial Studies Centre, UK, and the research centre EMMA at Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 (UPVM), France with Marina Rimscha from the India-Indonesia Program at the Hebrew University Jerusalem. The PI and Co-I from the On Page On Stage Follow-on award initiated this partnership as a means of keeping up the momentum of the festival events started in Paris 2020 after the pandemic forced us to postpone the following events by several months. This series of webinars is designed to maintain and increase the interest in the AHRC-funded festival events until we can continue with the in-person events from September 2022 onwards.
Collaborator Contribution Marina Rimscha from the India-Indonesia Program at the Hebrew University Jerusalem co-hosts and co-organises the webinar series and its publication on our YouTube channel. She also edits videos and curates links between the network's YouTube channel, the On Page On Stage YouTube channel and our partners' channels.
Impact Events included a talk and performance by the Dalit Bengali playwrights and actors Raju Das and Namita Das, a poetry reading and by the Dalit poet Satish Chandar and talks by the ECR Malarvizhi Jayanth (independent scholar) and J. Balasubramaniam (Madurai Kamaraj University, India). In 2021/22, we organised research seminars for early-career researchers and a seminar dedicated to the work of the Adivasi film-maker Seral Murmu.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Webinar series: Open Borders for Adivasi and Dalit Literature and Performing Arts 
Organisation Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Country Israel 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The webinar series, 'Open Borders for Adivasi and Dalit Literature and Performing Arts', was launched in October 2020. This online workshop series is organised by the Network 'Writing, Analysing, Translating Dalit Literature', hosted by the Postcolonial Studies Centre, UK, and the research centre EMMA at Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 (UPVM), France with Marina Rimscha from the India-Indonesia Program at the Hebrew University Jerusalem. The PI and Co-I from the On Page On Stage Follow-on award initiated this partnership as a means of keeping up the momentum of the festival events started in Paris 2020 after the pandemic forced us to postpone the following events by several months. This series of webinars is designed to maintain and increase the interest in the AHRC-funded festival events until we can continue with the in-person events from September 2022 onwards.
Collaborator Contribution Marina Rimscha from the India-Indonesia Program at the Hebrew University Jerusalem co-hosts and co-organises the webinar series and its publication on our YouTube channel. She also edits videos and curates links between the network's YouTube channel, the On Page On Stage YouTube channel and our partners' channels.
Impact Events included a talk and performance by the Dalit Bengali playwrights and actors Raju Das and Namita Das, a poetry reading and by the Dalit poet Satish Chandar and talks by the ECR Malarvizhi Jayanth (independent scholar) and J. Balasubramaniam (Madurai Kamaraj University, India). In 2021/22, we organised research seminars for early-career researchers and a seminar dedicated to the work of the Adivasi film-maker Seral Murmu.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Digital publication channel Dalit Voice and Vision 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dalit Voice and Vision is a digital publication channel on YouTube, which developed from the series of events organised by our research network. This channel was launched on 12 July 2016 to cover the events, conferences and activities of the network. In the future, we aim to focus on recording interviews, digital autobiographies and performances by Dalit writers, artists and people with a story to tell.

The Executive Board consists of Dr Nicole Thiara, lecturer in English at Nottingham Trent University, UK, and Dr Judith Misrahi-Barak, Associate Professor in English at Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier, France. Production Co-ordinator and Chief Editor is Prof. Vinod Verma, University of Delhi, India. The editor for Europe is the independent editor Zacharie Barak.

On 14 March 2017, the channel had 49 subscribers and 1896 views.

The channel currently has 49 subscribers and
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe2s1_7J9-XpbsTn8ixRdnQ
 
Description Film screenings of Jayan K. Cherian's feature film Papilio Buddha 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of the network's outreach activities, we screened the film Papilio Buddha by the director Jayan K. Cherian in three cinemas in Europe.

Papilio Buddha is the story of a group of displaced Dalits (former Untouchables) in the Western Ghats of India. The film brings into focus an example of the epic land struggles which are fought in various regions of the state and all over India, and the oppression of indigenous people by the powerful political and social establishments. It is also mapping the environmental degradation and abuse of pristine mountain habitats by outside forces, thus lining physical and political oppression with environmental destruction.

The first screening too place in Montpellier June 11th 2015 at the Médiathèque Fellini; Jayan Cherian was present for Q&A. He was also the Guest Film Director at the international conference 'New Ecotones' in Montpellier from 11 to 13 June 2015.

The second screening was in Nottingham on 21 June, at 6pm, at Broadway Cinema (also followed by Q&A with the audience).

The third screening in Norwich on Monday 29 June at Cinema City was also followed by Q&A and was free for the conference participants of the fourth network conference on 'Dalit Literature and / in Translation', an international conference at the British Centre for Literary Translation, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, on 29-30 June 2015. Jayan K. Cherina was also a Keynote Speaker at this conference, which was attended by 50 people from the Europe, India and the United States.

The screenings were announced as being hosted by Nottingham Trent University's Centre for Postcolonial Studies, Paul Valery University Montpellier and the AHRC-funded research network 'Writing, Analysing, Translating Dalit Literature' (see http://pays-anglophones.upv.univ-montp3.fr/?page_id=996).

Cherian's keynote speech is available on the Network's digital publication channel Dalit Voice and Vision (link see below).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWmQpGOlVzU&list=PL3zKAt3qJxDSzSZITq5xmWsdJI7wSrFkh&index=1
 
Description Launch of the Changing Wor(l)ds network on cultural activism with a focus on Dalit literature 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact On 13 April 2018, Nottingham Trent University's Postcolonial Studies Centre in collaboration with the research network 'Writing, Analysing and Translating Dalit Literature' launched the public-facing network 'Changing Wor(l)ds: Cultural Activism in the Literary Marketplace'. The Dalit poet and feminist activist Kalyani Thakur Charal was invited by Nottingham Trent University's Postcolonial Studies Centre and additionally funded by Postcolonial Studies Association. Thakur Charal delivered a poetry reading, engaged in panel discussions and liaised with publishing and cultural activist networks. The academic and translator Professor Sipra Mukherjee from West Bengal State University was also invited to this event to read from her translations of Dalit literature and discuss the challenges faced by writers and academics alike in the task of making Dalit writing visible, within the university curricula and beyond.
Changing Wor(l)ds is a network of academics, writers, publishers, industry professionals and cultural activists who are collectively committed to exploring the impact of writing as a form of cultural activism. Participants at this launch event included UNESCO City of Literature, Poets Against Racism, Palewell Press, Tilted Axis and Writing East Midlands. The aim of the network, which is closely linked to the network on Dalit literture, is the development of a collaborative model to support each other's work, enhance the availability of writing by radically marginalised authors, and bring more diverse literature to the public through publication and community-facing events.
During this launch event, the Dalit writer Kalyani Thakur made contact with the Sheffield-based publisher Tilted Axis who is currently exploring the possibility of publishing her first collection of poetry in English translation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Library Exhibition in Montpellier 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A book display of the library's collection of Dalit literature and Dalits Studies was put together by the St Charles Graduate Library on the campus of Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3. This display of about 25 books remained visible and for all library users to see over a period of two weeks around the time of the AHRC-funded research network conference that took place in Montpellier in October 2014. It was well appreciated and many colleagues, students and faculty commented on how useful it had been to help them open their eyes to a reality, and a literature, they had not been aware of.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Poetry events in Paris 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Paris events (12-14 March) were designed to precede the Paris Book Fair and benefit from the publicity generated by India being the guest of honour that year but the Book Fair was cancelled at short notice due to the pandemic. The three evenings at different Paris libraries and multimedia libraries were nevertheless well-attended despite the fact that these were the final events before the libraries closed due to the pandemic; in other words, our cultural partners were so passionate about the importance of our events that they kept the libraries open just for us. The three events showcased different facets of Indian Dalit and Adivasi poetry and the importance of translation.

The Dalit and Adivasi poets Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy, Jacinta Kerketta and Jameela Nishat read from their work and were in dialogue with each other and with their translators Annie Montaut, Uma Damodar Sridhar and Johannes Laping. We also planned to show Nicolas Jaoul's documentary on Dalit Panthers, Sangharsh (2018) but this proved unfeasible due to pandemic restrictions.

The schedule was as follows: The event 'Les littératures dalit et adivasi: des littératures indiennes à la marge de l'Inde? / Dalit and Adivasi Literatures: Indian Literatures at the margin?' took place at the Médiathèque Hélène Berr on 12 March and was designed to introduce a general audience to the poets and their work and its contexts of caste and marginalisation. The second event 'La poésie dalit et adivasi au croisement des langues / Dalit and Adivasi literatures at the crossroads of languages' at the Médiathèque Françoise Sagan on 13 March focused on the dialogue between the poets and their translators. The third event 'Les voix de la poésie: à l'écoute de la littérature dalit et adivasi / Indian Literatures: the Poet's Voice' at the Bibliothèque Marguerite Audoux on 14 March was designed to focus on the literary and activist work of the poets more specifically.

All three events sparked a lively discussion in the Q&A sessions at the end, which continued beyond the allocated time. Members of the audience from diverse backgrounds included members of the Indian diaspora in France, translators, publishers and writers; all of them were keenly interested in the work and context of the poets, bought their publications or inquired after them, and reported a new and deeper understanding of inequalities in India but also a greater appreciation of the wealth and diversity of marginalised Indian literary traditions and practices. This was the first series of events that showcased Dalit and Adivasi writing at the Paris libraries and the libraries had both stocked relevant material in advance of the events and also expressed a firm commitment to include further Dalit and Adivasi writing in their libraries, a commitment that is necessary to stimulate the production of further translations into French.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrMryNWLDn9H7EJTk7PWbpQ/playlists
 
Description Public poetry reading by Dalit poet Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy in Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The renowned Kannada writer and poet Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy was invited by the network to read from his poetry in Nottingham on 12 May 2016 at Wired, 42 Pelham St, Nottingham NG1 2EG. He read from his translated poetry for 10 minutes and then took questions from the audience. His reading was enthusiastically received by the audience and many people approached us afterwards and wanted to know more about his work and Dalit poetry in general. This reading is part of a series of poetry readings at Wired, organised by NTU creative writing staff Rory Waterman and Andrew Taylor and NTU creative writing PhD student Rebecca Cullen. These readings usually take place once a month with one or two featured poets and two open mic sessions. They are very popular and the venue is always filled to capacity (it hold up to 50 people).

Beside his reading at Wired, Cghinnaswamy also worked with students and members of staff at Nottingham Trent University for two weeks and his visit was very productive as staff and students engaged, often for the first time, with Dalit poetry and responded very warmly to it.

These successful events contributed to the publication of Chinnaswamy's translated collection of poetry Before It Rains Again by the Liverpool-based publisher Erbacce Press in December 2016. One of the editors is the organiser of the Wired readings, Andrew Taylor, and the response by the audience at the Wired reading and at the NTU events persuaded him that there is a market for Dalit poetry in the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3nPbiVmvv8
 
Description Public reading and discussion (Symposium on Dalit Literature at the University of Leicester) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An introductory talk on caste, Untouchability and Dalit literature in contemporary India was followed by a reading of a short story by Ajay Navaria both by the author in Hindi and by Laura Brueck in her English translation. A discussion with the public followed. Some parts of this even are on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61XDfjH_NQY with 244 views on 11 November 2014).

People at the talk showed great interest in Dalit literature, a phenomenon few had been aware of before they attended the event, and they expressed interest in reading more material.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61XDfjH_NQY
 
Description Translating Activism Workshop with Dalit writer Kalyani Thakur Charal 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Following on from the Changing Worl(d)s network launch, which was directed at cultural sector organisations, Nottingham Trent University's Postcolonial Studies Centre in collaboration with the international research network 'Writing, Analysing, Translating Dalit Literature' organised a workshop directed at the general public, writers and media representatives exploring translation of Dalit literature in relation to cultural activism. This workshop was held at Nottingham Contemporary with 23 participants. Thakur Charal offered local poets, activists and translators the opportunity to explore the opportunities and challenges involved in the act of passing Dalit poetry across linguistic and cultural boundaries. This workshop (featured in the Midlands cultural magazine Leftlion) prompted many participants to explore the activist potential within their own writing - including poet and translator Trevor Wright, who performed his poem, 'Ringing Change', written in response to Thakur Charal's work, at the Nottingham Poetry Festival in the following month.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Website of the research network 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact On 31 March 2016 we launched the research network's website which is dedicated to the study of Dalit literature and to the dissemination of the work produced by the network. This website provides a platform for researchers of Dalit literature within and outside of academia and strengthens links between Dalit writers and their publishers with their international audiences. The website contains a section on news and a detailed account of all major netwok events. In May 2016 we also included a publications page, which lists relevant publications to the study of Dalit literature. Network members keep sending us references in order to help update this invaluable resource for all researchers on Dalit literature.

On 14 March 2017, we had 2,782 visitors and 5,640 views. Our email subscription list has 262 members, so the reach of the website is considerably greater. The publication list is a particularly frequently used resource.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://dalitliterature.wordpress.com/
 
Description Workshop at Delhi University 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The conference hosted by the English Department and the Centre for Dalit Studies at Delhi University on 17-19 December 2015 focused on 'Publishing / Disseminating Dalit Literature'. Collective panels included scholars but also many non-academic translators, publishers and writers who engaged wonderfully in lively and multi-lingual discussions. This workshop represented the last major network event of the funded series and its attendance by so many writers, publishers and translators who are not usually present at academic conferences created a distinct atmosphere and enabled new encounters which hopefully inspire future events and initiatives. Invited speakers included the writers Des Raj Kali, Balbir Madhopuri, Kalyani Thakur Chaanral, Manoranjan Byapari, Cho Dharman, Satish Chandar, the artists Durgabai and Subhash Vyam, and the publishers Navayana, Zubaan Publishing, Routledge India, Sage-Stree Samya, Democratic Action Forum of Dalits, Women and Minorities, Khabar Lahariya, and Yoda Press, as well as the writer and publisher Bhagwant Rasulpuri.

Some of the sessions were recorded and are published on the digital publication channel Dalit Voice and Vision (link see below).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3zKAt3qJxDQ0XjoiAZbZlNQZBjn2oXZJ