Dalit-futurist Feminism: New Alliances through Dalit Feminism and Indian Science Fiction
This article analyses the novel Generation 14 by Priya Sarukkai Chabria from a convergent perspective of Dalit Studies (which encapsulates Dalit literature and Dalit feminism) and science fiction. I suggest that Indian science fiction that discusses caste with reference to the emerging technoscientific culture can be termed Dalit-futurism. I define this concept by drawing on the tradition of Dalit literature and science fiction and suggest that the Dalit-futurist texts seek to mutate caste to foreground its arbitrary structure. This paper uses the vocabulary of science-fiction criticism to analyze the mutation of caste in the fictional world and draws parallels with our social reality. It suggests that the social divisions in the fictional world echo the Brahmanical patriarchy of the Indian subcontinent. I theorize that the convergence of Dalit-futurism with feminist theory results in a new and transformative feminist configuration termed ‘Dalit-futurist feminism’. I explicate Dalit-futurist feminism through the cyborg figure, which I suggest shares overlapping themes and concerns with the Dalit feminist standpoint theory, conceptualized by Sharmila Rege and Cyborg feminism conceptualized by Donna Haraway. I suggest that the main protagonists, Aa-Aa and Clone 14/54/G, embody the intersectional, revisionist, and inclusive feminism advocated by Rege and Haraway, arguing for an affiliation-based politics that rejects women’s unity based on essentialized identities like sex, class, race, and caste and uncover the constructive nature of social processes that maintain and reproduce hierarchies, inequalities, and oppression.
"Dalit-futurist Feminism: New Alliances through Dalit Feminism and Indian Science Fiction,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 22:
10, Article 10.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol22/iss10/10