Ambedkar Initiative, Spring 2021

Understanding Systemic Racism: Art and Politics

The Dalit Panthers and Literary Insurgence

Featuring Suraj Yengde (Harvard University), Yogesh Maitreya (Panther’s Paw Publication), and others TBA

Register here

Read the introductory statement and watch the archive of the Fall 2020 web series here.

The Ambedkar lecture series is cosponsored by the Office of EVP of Arts and Sciences; Barnard Provost’s Office; Office of the Deans of Humanities and Social Sciences; IRAAS; AAADS; IRCPL; MESAAS; CSER; Columbia Committee on Global Thought; CU Libraries; and CU Press

For more information, please visit

Suraj Yengde

Dr. Suraj Yengde is one of India’s leading scholars and public intellectuals. He is the author of the bestseller Caste Matters and co-editor of award winning anthology The Radical in Ambedkar. Caste Matters was recently featured in the prestigious "Best Nonfiction Books of the Decade" list by The Hindu.

Suraj is currently a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. He holds a research associate position with the department of African and African American Studies, a non-resident fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, and is part of the founding team of Initiative for Institutional Anti-Racism and Accountability (IARA) at Harvard University. He has studied in four continents (Asia, Africa, Europe, North America), and is India’s first Dalit Ph.D. holder from an African university (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg). He is an International Human Rights attorney by qualification from India and the UK.

Suraj has published in multiple languages in the field of caste, race, ethnicity studies, and inter-regional labor migration in the global south. Currently, he is involved in developing a critical theory of Dalit and Black Studies.

Image result for yogesh maitreyaYogesh Maitreya

Yogesh Maitreya is a PhD scholar and researcher at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. He writes for,,, and EPW where he regularly contribute columns on society, culture, language, dalit literature, literature and translation etc. Maitreya is also an independent publisher at Panther's Paw Publication which is a dedicated publication for translation of primarily marathi dalit literature into English. Maitreya am a translator, poet and short-story writer as well.