Bonnie Zare


The present interview with M.M. Vinodini extends the context of her two stories printed in this issue, “Block” and “Villain’s Suicide” and the contemporary context for Telugu Dalit women writers. It enables readers to consider the combination of factors that must align for a woman and therefore, a secondary citizen of a severely stigmatized community to take action and protest through activist organizing and creative storytelling. Discrimination, self-respect, and assertion are repeated themes in Vinodini’s body of work and here she discusses changing views of caste among young people, the reception of her work, the ongoing mistreatment of sanitation workers, caste’s operations in a Covid pandemic online educational context, and how anti-caste activism and feminism must come together.

Author Biography

Bonnie Zare is a Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on discourses of identity, feminism, and activism in contemporary India and in South Asian women’s fiction. Zare’s articles have appeared in Women’s Studies International Forum, Humanity and Society, and South Asian Review among others. With Nalini Iyer, she is the co-editor of Other Tongues: Rethinking the Language Debates in India. Founder of The Keep Girls in School Project, she collaborates with organizations to secure the future of low-income girls in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.