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The Jean Yokes Woodhead Lecture: "The Doctor and The Saint: The Ambedkar—Gandhi Debate: Race, Caste, and Colonialism"

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
12:00 AM
Rackham Amphitheatre

The Annihilation of Caste is one of the most important – and still most controversial – works of Indian political writing. Completed in 1936, the book is an audacious denunciation of Hinduism and the caste system that infuriated Gandhi yet has remained a rallying cry for 60 years. In this lecture. Roy looks at how caste has continued through modern Indian history, and why the words of Ambedkar are necessary today more than ever, showing that caste is the most urgent question if India is to become a world-leading nation.

Arundhati Roy was born in 1959 in Shillong, India. She studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives. She has worked as a film designer and screenplay writer in India. Roy is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, for which she received the 1997 Booker Prize. The novel has been translated into dozens of languages worldwide. She has written several non-fiction books, including The Cost of Living, Power Politics, War Talk, An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, and Public Power in the Age of Empire, and Walking with the Comrades. Roy was featured in the BBC television documentary Dam/age, which is about the struggle against big dams in India. A collection of interviews with Arundhati Roy by David Barsamian was published as The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile. She is a contributor to the Verso anthology Kashmir: The Case for Freedom. Her newest books are Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers and Capitalism: A Ghost Story, published by Haymarket Books. Roy is the recipient of the 2002 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Prize.

Presented with support from the U-M Center for South Asian Studies and the Helen Zell Writers' Program. Book signing to follow.