Area Studies Launches Online Exhibit “Caste, Ambedkar, and Contemporary India” in Conjunction with Conference


NEW YORK, October 14, 2009 – The Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research (CHRDR) will co-sponsor the conference, "Caste and Contemporary India" on Friday, October 16, from 9:00am to 6:00pm; and Saturday, October 17, from 9:00am to 12:30 pm at the Kellog Center in the International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street at Amsterdam Avenue on Columbia University’s Morningside campus.

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An online exhibit, “Caste, Ambedkar, and Contemporary India,” curated by Bindu Bhatt, South and Southeast Asian Studies Librarian, complements the conference presentations and talks. The exhibit highlights resources available in the South Asian Studies Collections at Columbia University Libraries, with a focus on gender, politics, art, constitutional history and religion in contemporary India. The Center for Digital Research and Scholarship will record the conference presentations and lectures and will make them publicly available on a website that will be launched immediately after the conference.

The conference is held in honor of B.R. Ambedkar, chief architect of the Indian constitution and Columbia alumnus. Participants include Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger; Vice President Nicholas B. Dirks; Gnana Alyosius; Masood Alam Falahi; Marc Galanter; Gopal Guru; Rajkumar Hans; Christophe Jaffrelot; Pratap Mehta; Smita Narula; Balmurli Natrajan; Gyan Pandey; Sudha Rani; Anupama Rao; Nat Roberts; Palanimuthu Sivakami; Jebaroja Singh; Anand Teltumbde; and Gauri Viswanthan.

The event is co-sponsored with the South Asia Institute; Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race; Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Culture; Institute for Social and Economic Research and made possible by additional funding from the Dr. Ambedkar International Mission (AIM) Inc. U.S.A; Provost’s Office of Columbia University; Taraknath Das Foundation; and the US Department of Education.

For a detailed schedule of panels and times, visit the South Asia Institute website, here.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries at www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb is the gateway to its services and resources.

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10/14/09 LMK