Translating Dalit Testimony: Negotiating Rights Across Languages


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  • Host Department: Comparative Literature
  • Date: 02/03/2012
  • Time: 02:00PM - 03:00PM

  • Location: Kalamazoo Room, Michigan League

  • Dalit Testimony
  • Description: The talk will compare two first-person narratives translated from Hindi that offer protests against entrenched systems of caste-based discrimination. Both contain scenes of violence based on real-life experience, but one is labeled a short story and the other an autobiography. How do our expectations as English-language readers shape our moral assessment of their stories? More generally, how do purportedly universal notions such as “truth,” “justice,” and “rights” translate?