Kalyan Kumar Das
In his doctoral research, he explored literary texts produced by Bengal's Dalits to understand how this politics of identity formation, communitarian histories and 'lived experiences' of being Dalits get represented in these cultural and literary narratives.His teaching and research interests revolve around critical literary theory( with a special focus on structuralist Marxism, post structuralism), continental philosphy ( Hegel, Kant, Nietzsche, phenomenological thoughts of Maurice Merleau-Ponty ,Deconstruction and Jacques Derrida's writings on issues like touch, translation and autobiography ), Indian philosophical systems, political philosophies of Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser and B. R. Ambedkar, Commonwealth and postcolonial literatures, Diaspora studies, Nationalism, caste, race and Dalit literature.
Das's research articles on Ambedkar, Dalit studies, Subaltern Studies, historiography, Cultural Studies etc. have been published in famous research journals like the Critical Philosophy of Race, Dewey Studies, Economic & Political Weekly, Bangla Journal, Contemporary Voice of Dalit (Sage) etc. His research article on historiography ( published in the EPW) is taught at the Masters' programme in History at the University of Warwick, UK
Das has been a UGC (SAP DRS II) Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Dalit Studies, Department of English, Delhi University ( February, 2017).
He is currently a visiting guest faculty at the Department of Comparative Indian Language and Literature( DCILL), University of Calcutta.
PhD English and Cultual Studies (Jadavpur University Department of English and Centre for Studies in Social Sciences,2022)
UGC-NET English (2011)
MA English (Jadavpur University Department of English, 2010)
BA English ( Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira, Belur Math, University of Calcutta, 2008)
After finishing his undergraduate studies at Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira, Belur Math, he joined Jadavpur University Department of English for pursuing his post-graduation in English literature. In 2011, he got through the National Eligibility Test(NET) in English Literature. thereafter he pursued his doctoral studies at the Department of English, Jadavpur University (with joint superviison from the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences) and submitted his thesis on Bangla Dalit writings in 2021.
Research / Administrative Experience+
In his doctoral dissertation, he seeks to interrogate the earlier anti- caste movements in undivided Bengal in order to identify and understand ‘new’ structures of knowledge production by dalits in twentieth(last decade) and first two decades of twenty first century and resultant changes in identity formation of traditionally ‘lower caste groups’. He intends to interrogate the assumed linearity of a trajectory of identity from particular caste identity( Namasudra, Poundra Kshatriya or Bauri) to a homogenized identity of being ‘dalit’. In order to do so, he is trying to explore autobiographical narratives, novels, poems, songs and plays written and performed by important dalit writers, poets and playwrights like Monoranjan Byapari, Monohar Mouli Biswas, Kalyani Thakur Charal, Manju Bala, Smritikana Howladar, Sunil Das , Jatin Bala and others.
Teaching / Other Experience+
At Presidency University, he discusses literary and cultural theories like Marxism, Postcolonialism, Nationalism,Subaltern Studies, Hegel's philosophy etc. His other teaching assignments include African literature, Indian literature in English( including translation), Scandanavian poetry, critical theory.
Das has been an extrenal reviewer for Routledge international book projects and has been a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Dalit Studies, Department of English, University of Delhi.
Post Graduate Supervision+
Member, John Dewey Society (U.S.A.).
Member, United Kingdom Arts and Humanities Research Council(AHRC) International Project on Dalit Literatures--- "Writing, Analysing, Translating Dalit Literatures".
Member , Board of Editors, Indian Journal for Comparative Literature and Translation Studies.
Guest Editor, Sanglap: Journal of Literary and Cultural Inquiry (Special Issue on "Caste in/as Humanities",Vol. 6 No. 1(2019).
Member, Board of Peers, Akademos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Literary and Culture Studies (Journal published by the Department of English, Sidho-Kanho- Birsha University).
Reviewer, Politics and Religion (Cambridge University Press)
Reviewer , Routledge (Taylor & Francis)
Reviewer, Critical South Asian Studies (Journal of the Irish Association of South Asian Studies, Ireland India Institute, Dublin City University)
Reviewer, Contemporary Voice of Dalit (Sage Journal).
Reviewer, Journal of the Comparative Indian Language and Literature ( University of Calcutta)
Reviewer, Essays and Studies (Journal of the Department of English, Jadavpur University)
Reviewer, Journal of the Department of English, Vidyasagar University, West Bengal, India.
1. Das, Kalyan Kumar (ed.). Bengali Dalit Literature: Reflections on Caste, Culture and Representation (Under contract with Routledge)
2. Das, Kalyan Kumar (ed.). Translating Identity:Essays from Bengali Dalit Writings (1990s-2010s) (under contract with Orient Blackswan)
Research Articles in double blind peer reviewed journals/ Book Chapters:
1. Das, Kalyan Kumar. "Nietzsche contra Manu: Ambedkar's Nietzsche Moment and an Aesthetics of Dalit Anger".Critical Philosophy of Race(Pennsylvania State University Press). (forthcoming)
2. Das, Kalyan. " Subaltern Historiography to Dalit Historiography- Tracing Heterogeity in Dalit Subalternity". 'Special Article' in Economic & Political Weekly. Vol.- L- 7, 14th February, 2015.,pp-60-65.
3. Das, Kalyan. " To Eat or not to Eat Beef: Spectres of Food on Bengal's Politics of Identity". 'Special Article' in Economic & Political Weekly. Vol. L- 44 , 31st October, 2015,pp-105-114.
4. Das, Kalyan Kumar. "Encountering John Dewey's Pragmatism in the Indian Context: Ambedkar's Critique of War, Violence and Nationalism".Dewey Studies:Journal of the John Dewey Society (2:3), 2018.
5. Das, Kalyan Kumar (co-author). "Caste in/as Humanities: Unsettling the Politics of Suffering". Sanglap: Journal of Literary and Cultural Inquiry (Special Issue on Caste). Vol. 6 No. 1(2019).
6. Das, Kalyan Kumar. "Caste as Hindutva's Limit: Reading a Dalit Autobiography Amidst Hindutva's Majoritarian Claims". In Majoritarian Reasoning: Hindutva Nationalism and Modern India, edited by Anindya Sekhar Purkayastha. New Delhi: Sage, forthcoming.
Non-Peer Reviewed articles/ Book Chapters/Review Articles:
1. Das , Kalyan Kumar. "Caste and Politics of Culture in Contemporary Bengal: Bhadralok's Celebration of Chotolok's 'Story' and the Curious Case of Monoranjan Byapari." Bangla Journal: A Journal of Bangla and Bangali, (Canada).Vol.- 13-21, December, 2015.
2. Das, Kalyan Kumar. "What does it mean to be an Ambedkarite?". Scroll.in, 2019.
3. Das, Kalyan Kumar. Review of Sharan Kumar Limbale's The Dalit Brahmin in Contemporary Voice of Dalit (Sage Journal), forthcoming.
4. Das, Kalyan Kumar. "Amader Dalit Sahitya Charcha: Katogulo Elomelo Alochona". In Dalit Sahitya Charcha, edited by Mrinmoy Pramanick. Kolkata: Gangchil, forthcoming in 2022.
1. "Monoranjan Byapari and the Comon Sense of the Modern"- invited lecture (as a resource person) on Dalit historiography at the Refreshers' course – "Cultures of Margins", organized by Jadavpur University Department of English on 5th February, 2014.
2. "Reading a post-liberal critique of Dalit struggle from Dalit Historiographical perspective" ----- invited lecture at a National Seminar on “Reconstructing/Deconstructing the Canon: Alternative Cultures , Alternative Literatures. ,organized at Vidyasagar University Department of English on 19th March, 2014. .
3. "Reading Mahasweta Devi with Spivak’s idea of the Subaltern in ‘Can the Subaltern speak?”- invited lecture delivered on 29th January, 2013 at the Department of English, Gour Mahavidyalaya, Malda, WB, India.
4. ""Self-reflexivity and Ethics in Theorizing Caste in Dalit Literature: Seeing Through The Cracked Mirror and issues in Lived Experience as the Right to Theory"- invited lecture delivered on 25th January,2016 at an international symposium - "Outside/Inside/On the Edge:Mediation and Dialogue in Indegenous and Dalit Studies , organised by the Department of English, Jadavpur University,Kolkata, India.
5. "Dalit Studies and the Future of Postcolonial Studies"- plenary speech delivered on 10th February, 2016 at an international conference on "The Future of Postcolonialsm",organised at the Kazi Nazrul University, Asansol, WB,India.
6.“Ambedkar and the Colonial State: Rethinking Ambedkar’s ‘Strategic Statism’ and the Birth of A Modern Nation”- invited speech delivered on 15th April, 2016 at the International Conference organised on the occasion of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s 125th Birth Anniversary at the Centre for India Studies in Africa (CISA), University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
7. "Ambedkar contra Manu: A Contemporary Critique of Resentiment and the Category of 'Angry Dalit' "- plenary speech delivered at the National Seminar : "Prabudhdha Bharat: Understanding Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in the Passage of Timer"organised by the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Kolkata on 26th August, 2016.
8. "Past, Present and Future of Dalit Studies in India"- participated in a panel discussion on this theme at the National Seminar: Prabuddha Bharat: Understanding Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in the Passage of Time" organised by the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Kolkata on 27th August, 2016.
9. "Hermenutics of Nationalism: Perceiving the Indian Nation State as a Hindu Space"- Keynote address delivered at the seminar : "Notions of Spacein Narratives of Partition", organised by the Departments of English and Bengali, The Bhawanipur Education Society College, Kolkata on 3rd Sepetember, 2016.
10. "Introducing Caste and Dalit Literature"- invited special lecture delivered at Rishi Bankim Chandra College, Naihati, W.B. on 10th September, 2014.
11. "Ambedkar and the Nation-State"- MPhil/PhD course work seminar delivered at the Department of English , Delhi University on 17th February, 2017.
12. "Ambedkar's 'Social Hope' in a 'Democracy that is to come': A Pragrammatological Reading in Speculative Philosophy."- Public lecture delivered at the Department of English, Delhi University on 22nd February, 2017.
13. "Contemporary Dalit Writings and Ambedkar's Philosophy"- Special lecture delivered at the Departement of English, Midnapur College (Autonomous) on 25th March , 2017.
14. "Subalternity, Literature and Historiography": Special lecture delivered at Vidyasagar College Department of English on 27th March, 2017.
15. "What the Foucault?"- invited lecture delivered at the Department of English, University of Kalyani, W.B. on 4th August, 2017.
16. "Tagore contra Hegel- Literature, Historiography and Historicality"- lecture delivered at the Refreshers' Course "Reading Literature" organised by the Department of English, University of North Bengal on 9th January, 2018.
17. "Ambedkar and the Nation State"- lecture delivered at the refreshers' Course "Reading Literature" organised by the Department of English, University of North Bengal on 9th January, 2018.
18. " Dalit literature and Historiography"- lecture delivered at the refreshers' Course "Reading Literature" organised by the Department of English, University of North Bengal on 10th January, 2018.
19. "Reading Monoranjan Byapari's autobiography"- lecture delivered at the refreshers' Course "Reading Literature" organised by the Department of English, University of North Bengal on 10th January, 2018.
20. "How are we reading/receiving Monoranjan Byapari?" - lecture delivered at the conference on Dalit literature organised by the Department of Political Science, Presidency University on 8th February, 2018.
21. " 'We will rebuild worlds'- paraichi voices in Tamil Dalit Literature"- invited lecture delivered at Midnapore College in 2012
22."The Precarity of dalit ethnoscope in the Postcolonial Nation-State- Ambedkar, Appadurai and Skinner"- invited lecture delivered at the Web Seminar organised by the Postcolonial Studies Organization of the Global South at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur on 30th June,2018.
23. "Ambedkar, Bhagabad Gita and the Question of Violence"- invited lecture delivered at the Internal Conference on "Desiring Bharat, historicizing the postcolonial" at the School for Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur on 28th September, 2018.
24. "Ambedkar and the Indian Partition"- invited lecture delivered at the International Conference on "Desiring Bharat, historicizing the postcolonial" at the School for Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur on 30th September, 2018.
25. "Ambedkar and Postcolonial Modernity"- invited lecture delivered to the research students of the Department of English, Jadavpur University on 8th November, 2017.
26."The Climate of Justice : ‘Anthropocene’ as the limit of Modernity and Gaia as Home"- plentary lecture delivered (on 26th February, 2019) at the national conference on " Home and Beyond: Beloning, Unbelonging, Nostalgia", organised by the Department of English, Santipur College, West Bengal.
27. " South Asian Studies: Politics of Postcolonialism as Area Studies"- plenary lecture delivered on 28th February, 2019, at the international conference on "South Asian Literature, Culture and Society", organised by the Departmen of English and the Department of History, Barabazar Bikram Tudu Memorial College, Purulia, West Bengal .
28. "Ambedkar on Violence"- invited public lecture ("Talk of the Month",) delivered on 3rd April, 2019 at the Department of English, Presidency University, Kolkata, India.
29. "Ambedkar contra Manu: Becoming 'Minor' through Dalit Rage"- invited lecture delivered at the workshop on 'minor literature' at the Department of English, University of North Bengal on 24th February, 2020.
30. " Postcolonialism and the Indian Writing in English: Critiques of Modernity and Beyond"- invited web lecture delivered at the Department of English, Sewnarayan Rameswar Fateupuria College on 11th June, 2020.
31. "John Dewey and Ambedkar: Reflections on himsa/ahimsa in the Mahabharata"- invited web lecture delivered at the Department of English, Midnapore College on 20th July ,2020.
32."Draupadi: A Critical Introduction"- invited web lecture delivered at the Department of English, Santipur College on 29th August, 2020.
33. "Politics of Caste and the Affects of Graphic Art in "Bhimayana"- invited web lecture delivered at the Department of English, Daulat Ram College, University of Delhi on 2nd September, 2020.
34. "Caste and Nationalism: Ambedkar, John Dewey and Vinayak Savarkar's Hindutva Project"- invited web lecture/plenary talk delivered at the international webinar on "Theorising Caste: Castes of Theory" at the Department of Sociology, West Bengal State University on 24th September, 2020.
35."Okonkwo's Tragic Fall: Beyond the Anthropological Reading of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart"- invited web lecture delivered at the Department of English, Nabagram Hiralal Pal College, University of Calcutta on 15th October, 2020.
36. "Subaltern Studies, Marxism and Postcolonial Literatures"- invited web lecture delivered at the Department of English, Sree Narayana College, Chempazhanthy, University of Kerala on 4th November, 2020.
37. "Ambedkar and Nationalism"- Constitution Day Public lecture delivered at the Centre for Dalit Studies, Department of English, University of Delhi on 26th November, 2020.
38. "Savarkar, Ambedkar and the Caste Question"- invited discussion and talk at the Fordham University in New York on 4th December, 2020.
39. "Climate of Literature: Debates on the Anthropocene"- invited lecture at the Refresher Course in English Language and Literature at the UGC-HRDC, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India on 16th December, 2020.
40. "John Dewey contra Leon Trotsky: Ambedkar on Marxism and the Question on Violence"- invited lecture at the Refresher Course in English Language and Literature at the UGC-HRDC, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India on 23rd December, 2020.
41. "How not to read Manoranjan Byapari's "Interrogating Chandal Life"- invited web lecture delivered at the Department of English, Cooch Behar Panchanan barma University on 25th June, 2021.
42. "Critiquing Subaltern Studies:Is there a sovereign subject in history?"- invited web lecture delivered at the Department of English, Cooch Behar Pachanan Barma University on 15th June, 2021.
43. "How to build an argument against caste: Reading Ambedkar's "Anihilation of Caste"- invited web lecture delivered at the Department of English, Cooch Behar Panchanan Barma University on 8th June, 2021.
44. "Desireless Action: The Bhagabad Gita and Tagore's Home and the World"- invited web lecture delivered at the Department of English, South Calcutta Girls' College on 15th July, 2021.
45. "Is Ambedkar liberal?: Revisiitng the trajectories of liberalism in South Asian culture"- invited lecture delivered at the international webinar on "South Asian Literature: Emerging Trends and Global Perspectives, organised by the Depertment of English, Sidho Kanho Birsha University on 4th June, 2021.
46. "Amitav Ghosh's The Great Derangement and the Anthropocene Question in Postcolonial Studies"- invited web lecture delivered at the Refresher Course in English organised by the Human Resource Development Center, University of North Bengal on 18th February 2021.
47. "History of Bangla Dalit Literature"- invited web lecture delivered at the Society for Research Alternatives on 27th October, 2021.
48."Ambedkar and the Aryanisation Theory of Caste"- invited public lecture delivered at the Dalit History Month program organised by "Voyages into the Past" at Presidency University on 22nd April, 2022.
49. "Ambedkar and a Tentative Philosophical Psychoogy of Anger"- invited public lecture delivered at the Department of Antrhopology, University of Calcutta on 14th April, 2022.
50. "Ambedkar o Dalit Sahitya"- invited talk delivered at Paschimbanga Bangla Academy on 14th April, 2022.
Research Papers Presented at Conferences/Workshops/Seminars:
1."Encountering Deweyean thoughts in Indian context: Ambedkar's thoughts on war, violence and nationalism."- lecture delivered at the Annual Conference of the John Dewey Society in New York City on 14th April, 2018.
2."The Doms of West Bengal and a Contemporary 'Career of the Anti-God'"- research paper presented at the Third International Conference on South Asian Studies organised by the Ireland Indian Institutte at Dublic City University, Dublin, Ireland on 26th April, 2019.
3. "Imagining Bauriland: Dalit Utopia(?) in Twenty First Century West Bengal"- paper presented at an international conference "Contemporary Approaches to the Analysis of Dalit Literature" oragnized by the Nottingham Trent University, UK on 24th June,2014
4. "Subaltern Historiography to Dalit Historiography : Tracing Heterogeneity in Dalit Subalternity" ---- paper presented at the International Conference on Dalit Literature and Historiography, held at Jamia Milia Islamia University , New Delhi on 19th December , 2013.
5."(Im)possibility of Translating Identities: Translator, Dalit Litterateur and the 'Truth' of Dalit Experience"- paper presented at the British Centre for Literary Translation, University of East Anglia,Norwich, UK, on 29th June, 2015.
6. "Bhadralok’s celebration of a Chotolok’s story: the curious case of Monoranjan Byapari and the politics of caste and culture in twenty-first century Bengal" - paper presented at the Critical Approaches to South Asian Studies Workshop (CASAW) organized by York Center for Asia Research, York University, Toronto, Canada on 30th January, 2014.
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