TAPSA: "Defining Slavery through Tamil and Malayalam Texts"

Malarvizhi Jayanth

Comparisons between West Indian and South Asian forms of slavery marked the unprecedented scrutiny of the enslaved in nineteenth-century southern India during the East India Company’s attempts to abolish slavery. Taking the question posed by abolitionism to an assortment of Tamil and Malayāḷam texts ranging from the ancient through the modern, this talk presents some indigenous definitions of slavery. While elite texts posit caste difference as cause for enslavement and place the enslaved outside history altogether, subaltern rituals and texts question the hierarchy and insist on the historical agency of the enslaved.

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 5:00pm
Foster 103