Contesting Categories, Remapping Boundaries: Literary Interventions by Tamil Dalits

Literature produced by historically marginalized communities has often been argued to function as an important tool for social change. However, much depends on how this literature is received and interpreted. Since the university operates as a potential site for social change, it is significant to enquire whether such literature, specifically that produced by Tamil Dalits, has been incorporated into mainstream curricula. It is equally vital to explore how students respond to Dalit literature. This book traces the evolution of Tamil Dalit writing from the early decades of the twentieth century to the present, and explores its impact on academia. Furthermore, it analyses the literary works of Tamil Dalits and explores how students of Tamil and English literary studies have responded to Tamil Dalit literature and its English translations. The book addresses the following research questions: What were the socio cultural conditions that led to the emergence of contemporary Tamil Dalit literature? What are the dominant themes and trends in contemporary Tamil Dalit literature? How does academia respond to the emergence of Tamil Dalit literature? In particular, how do students respond to Dalit literature, a literature which has found a place in both English and Tamil literature curricula? As a literature which has an ideological function, how is it received and understood by readers?