September 29, 2014
Topic: Arts & Culture
Indian author Arundhati Roy will discuss India’s caste system in “The Doctor and The Saint: The Ambedkar — Gandhi Debate: Race, Caste, and Colonialism,” at 5-6:30 p.m. Oct. 7 in Rackham Amphitheatre.
A focus of the talk will be B.R. Ambedkar’s 1936 book, “The Annihilation of Caste.” It has been called an audacious denunciation of Hinduism and the caste system that infuriated Gandhi and has remained a rallying cry. Roy looks at how caste has continued through modern Indian history, and why the words of Ambedkar are necessary today more than ever, showing that caste is the most urgent question if India is to become a world-leading nation.
Roy was born in 1959 in Shillong, India. She studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives. She is the author of “The God of Small Things,” for which she received the 1997 Booker Prize. The novel has been translated into dozens of languages worldwide. Her newest books are “Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers” and “Capitalism: A Ghost Story.” Roy is the recipient of the 2002 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Prize.
This Jean Yokes Woodhead Lecture is presented by the Institute for the Humanities with support from the Center for South Asian Studies and the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. A book signing will follow.