This collection of twelve essays foregrounds the conjunction of the social phenomenon called 'caste' with the genre of representation called 'life narratives'. Life narratives have long been a constitutive archive and a performative mode for testifying to the breadth and ferocity of caste oppression and for articulating a language of caste dissent. Caste and Life Narratives covers a variety of modes of representing 'actual lives', in whole or in fragments--from autobiographies, and interviews to Facebook posts, biopics, visual representations, and most tragically, a suicide note. It uses the notion of 'Critical Caste Studies', which is vitally animated by Dalit Studies, but is not coterminous with it. While acknowledging the unique status of Dalit and Dalibahujan perspectives, it argues that caste is not the lived reality of Dalits alone and, accordingly, a critical study of caste cannot be solely their burden. .
Drawing from postcolonial, Dalit and Critical Caste Studies, this syncretic collection of essays offers a unique theoretical and methodological perspectives, provoking new ways of entering into the burgeoning study of caste.