Trina Vithayathil – “Counting Caste in India in an Era of Castelessness”

Trina Vithayathil is an assistant professor of global studies at Providence College. Her research focuses on the politics of caste, race and ethnicity in contemporary India. Her ongoing work examines the politics of producing the “caste census” data in 2011.
This talk, a part of the Georgia Workshop on Culture, Power and History, examines how and why groups advocating for a change in census policy on caste in India publicly “won” in early 2010, only to lose over the course of the subsequent year. In the census that followed, caste hierarchies silently structured the entire process of producing caste data. The case of the 2011 caste census  reveal the mechanisms and practices of castelessness in the world’s largest democracy.