Spotted Goddesses is an ethnography of caste, gender and Dalit women’s leadership. Situated within the ambit of transnational feminisms, this book is rooted in interactions and lived experiences of Dalit women in Tamil Nadu. Singh’s intersectional perspective as a Dalit woman provides a consummate analysis of the power structures that shape the foundation of caste dominance in South India today. She describes strategies of social change in Dalit women’s activism as embedded in the urge to upend and subvert imposed identities of ‘difference’ in a mode of resistance which fearlessly thwarts social compartments and punishment traditions. Built around a powerful core which is primarily shaped by Dalit women’s songs, and oral and written testimonial narratives, including Singh’s personal story, this interdisciplinary work is a searing vindication of Dalit women’s right to rise and rage against the shackles of Brahminical patriarchy.
“…powerfully describes how Dalit women free themselves from the degrading stereotypes of impurity, inferiority and inequality…”
— Bama, author of Karukku and Sangati
“…personal and profound, Singh smashes disciplinary boundaries while illuminating the lived experiences of women who have long been marginalized by traditional feminist discourse…”
— Smita Narula, author of Broken People: Caste Violence Against India’s ‘Untouchables’
“A powerful, poignant treatment of the Dalit plight and predicament with a courageous vision of resistance.”
— Dr. Cornel West, scholar, writer, activist and philosopher
ROJA SINGH teaches interdisciplinary studies including Anthropology, Sociology and Women and Gender Studies at St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York. Her ongoing research involves the oral narratives and leadership strategies of women from indigenous communities. She is president of the Dalit Solidarity Forum USA.