Dr George Kunnath recently organised a one-day international conference exploring the contemporary manifestations of caste in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, and their diasporas in the UK, with the keynote address given by Professor David Mosse (SOAS).
Caste, although a pan-South Asian phenomenon, manifests itself in divergent ways in these countries. In India and Nepal, one can often discern the direct manifestation of caste in everyday social relations, while in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, it is more subtle and hidden. Nevertheless, caste is an important reality that influences politics, economy and social life in all these countries. Even among the South Asian communities living in the UK, caste is an important determinant in interpersonal and intercommunity relations.
The conference explored the public and hidden transcripts of caste relations through the lens of religion, economy, gender, politics, and ethnicity in South Asian countries and South Asian communities in the UK, and its primary focus was to unmask and critically engage with contemporary forms of caste-based discrimination, prejudice and marginalisation.
The conference was co-funded by CSASP and SARC (Wolfson) and hosted at the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology in Oxford.
A report on the conference written by Thomas Sebastian can be found here.