K. N. SunandanApr 30, 2023
Caste, Knowledge, and Power
Ways of Knowing in Twentieth Century Malabar
Cambridge University Press 2022
Caste, Knowledge, and Power: Ways of Knowing in Twentieth-Century Malabar (Cambridge UP, 2023) investigates the transformations of caste practices in twentieth century India and the role of knowledge in this transformation and in the continuing of these oppressive practices. The author situates the domination and subordination in the domain of knowledge production in India not just in the emergence of colonial modernity but in the formation of colonial–Brahminical modernity. It engages less with the marginalization of the oppressed castes in the modern institutions of knowledge production which has already been discussed widely in the scholarship. Rather, the author focuses on how the modern colonial–Brahminical concept of knowledge invalidated many other forms of knowing practices and how historically caste domination transformed from the claims of superiority in acharam (ritual hierarchy) to the claims of superiority in possession of knowledge.
K. N. Sunandan is Assistant Professor at Azim Premji University, Bangalore. His areas of interest are history of caste, history of knowledge production, colonialism and knowledge, and history and sociology of science.
Sanjukta Poddar (she/her/hers) is Assistant Professor in Modern South Asian Studies at Leiden University.