“They are just like the Adivasis”: Other Indians and the Intersections of Caste, Race, and Indigeneity
with Nishant Upadhyay, University of Colorado Boulder
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This talk explores the transnational intersections of race, caste, and indigeneity in the making of dominant caste Indian diasporic communities and their complicities in the ongoing settler colonial Canadian project. Drawing upon interviews with dominant caste Hindu-Indian professionals in the catastrophic extraction site of the tar sands in Alberta, the talk argues that the Indian Other, i.e. the Indigenous Other, is constructed through colonial and brahminical processes that allow for the diasporic Indian self to position itself as the “model” settler/worker/citizen.
Dr Nishant Upadhyay is Assistant Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder and a YCAR alumnus. They received their PhD at York University in the Graduate Program of Social and Political Thought in 2016. Their dissertation received the National Women’s Studies Association/University of Illinois Press First Book Award 2018. Prior to joining UC Boulder, Nishant taught Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Northern Arizona University. Their teaching and research focuses on intersections of race, indigeneity, caste, gender and sexuality. Their book manuscript, Indians on Indian Lands: Transnational Intersections of Race, Caste, and Indigeneity, studies the formation of dominant-caste Hindu Indian diasporas in North America and Indian diasporic complicities in processes of settler colonialism, antiblackness, Islamophobia, and brahminical supremacy. The manuscript is under advance contract with the University of Illinois Press.
This is the inaugural event in a new lecture series–Thinking Through South Asia as an Epistemological Framework–organized by Vedanth Govi (Social Anthropology) with support from the York Centre for Asian Research.