Friday, March 19, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Nepal: International Dalit Conference

International Dalit Conference
Monday, 08 March 2010 13:53 administrator
Call for Paper
Envisioning New Nepal

Dynamics of Caste, Identity and Inclusion of Dalits
International Conference

May 20-22, 2010

Samata Foundation, Nepal

India-China Institute, New School University-New York
The Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies, US
Nepal Dalit Info Group, Canada
Canada Foundation Nepal, Canada

In association with
International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), Denmark
Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR North –South)
South Asian Coordination Office, Kathmandu

Nepal is at a critical juncture in its history as the transition
offers unprecedented opportunities for marginalized groups to
renegotiate their relationships within the polity. Both practically
and from the point of view of scholarship, following this process of
renegotiation by various marginalized groups is of great importance.
The conference proposes to focus on one such group, the Dalit of
Nepal. The reasons for this choice are several. First of all, the
Dalit are deeply involved in this process, and have even made
considerable gains in having had 18 members elected to the constituent
assembly. Strengthening their sense of history, community and own
contribution to the country would support further gains. Secondly, the
Dalit, unlike many other groups of Nepal, have been the focus of
relatively little scholarship to date. A conference focusing on Dalit
issues will therefore both help this group in its lobbying and
advocacy efforts as well as make a valuable contribution to the
academic literature on one of Nepal's most disadvantaged groups.

Reflection and discussion of the Dalit of Nepal will further benefit
from a cross-cultural approach; indeed, Dalit are found across Asia,
including Japan, and inviting scholars studying Dalits outside Nepal
will allow for a better understanding of the specificities,
predicaments and opportunities facing Dalits today. Such an
understanding, furthermore, will assist the Constituent Assembly
members to ensure that the new constitution lays the foundations for a
more just and inclusive social and political order in Nepal.

Inviting scholars, practitioner/activists from across Asia will also
expose issues of Nepali Dalit to the attention of a wider audience
(North American, European, and Asian).


To provide intellectual space to Dalit political leaders including the
CA members, activists and civil society members to articulate their
perspectives on the past, present and future of Nepali politics and
the restructuring of the state
To utilize the opportunity of transition to create dialogue among and
between Dalit and non-Dalit political leaders, the academic world and
the general public to make political parties and society more
inclusive of Dalits at all levels and to be more responsive to the
Dalit agenda
To advance scholarship on the Dalits of Nepal through publication of a
volume on Dalit issue and through developing a research programme in
relation to the Dalit of Nepal
To provide an opportunity for academics working on Dalits across Asia
to engage in dialogue and set agendas for future collaboration

Involvement of Dalit activists in the conference basically intends to
encourage practitioner-academic dialogue as well as to give
opportunities to people from marginalised groups to experience/be
exposed to an academic environment. The conference will involve
scholars and practitioners from South Asia, Japan, Europe and the U.S.
The conference will take place for two days. Simultaneously there will
be three types of papers that will be presented:

Academic Papers- Under this theme the organizer will invite papers
from professors around the world who are working on the issues of
Dalit in Nepal and elsewhere. The papers will be selected from
different disciplines.

Fellow's Papers- The organizer will award short fellowships to the
Dalit youths/activists and other interested individuals to present
short research on the conference theme. Altogether 10 fellows have
been awarded fellowships and their papers will be presented during the
conference. Professors attending the conferences will comment on the
papers. This will help the emerging researchers to improve their
research and writing skills and give fresh insights to the conference.

Research Proposals- Conference will encourage the participants to
discuss their future research projects ideas on Dalit in Nepal. It
will help them shape their ideas, methodology and look for relevant

Topics and themes:
Constitution Building and Peace Process
Globalization and Dalit Social Movement
Human Rights, Dignity and Justice
Political Participation/Inclusion
Education, Health and Equity

Key Dates for Paper Submission:
Submission of Abstracts: February 25 to March 25, 2010
Notification of Acceptance: April 9, 2010 (Friday)
Final Full Paper Submission Deadline: May 10, 2010 (Monday)
Finial Submission of Presentation: May 10, 2010 (Monday)
Registration Start Date: March 1, 2010 (Monday)
End of Registration: May 10, 2010 (Monday)

Organizing committee:
Suvash Darnal - Director: Samata Foundation
Dr. Celayne Heaton Shrestha – University of Sussex, UK
Dr. Drona Rasaily – Nepal Dalit Info Group International, Canada
Krishna Sob - Dalit and Development Expert based in Washington DC
Dr. Laurie Vasily - Director -Fulbright Commission, Nepal and Dalit Expert
Dr. Madan Pariyar - Dalit and Inclusion expert: Board of Director,
Samata Foundation
Dr. Mahendra Lawoti - Associate Professor of Political Science at
Western Michigan University, President of the Association for Nepal
and Himalayan Studies
Dr. Rinju Rasaily, Independent Dalit Expert based in IndiDr. Steven
Folmar- Assistant Professor, Wake Forest University, USA
Dr. Mary M. Cameron - Associate Professor, Anthropology, Florida
Atlantic University, USA
Dr.Bishnu Raj Upreti - Regional Coordinator (NCCS North- South , South
Asia) and Conflict Expert

Padam Sudas– Chair, Samata Foundation
Dr. Lynn Bennett – Social Scientist
Rikke Nöhrlind, Co-ordinator, International Dalit Solidarity Network, Denmark

Registration: US$200 for International Participants excluding South Asia
NRs. 5,000 for South Asian including Nepalese
NRs. 1,000 for Nepali Students

Registration fee includes: Food, accommodation and conference packets.

The organizer is not responsible for international air tickets.
However, South Asian participants may apply for partial support.

Mr. Suvash Darnal
Samata Foundation
P. O. Box 19619
Pulchowk, Lalitpur, Nepal.

Telephone Number: 00977 1 5520851
Fax Number: 00977 1 4782851
E-mail: info(at) // dalitright(at)


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