Upcoming Events

Coming out as Dalit: Book Talk with Yashica Dutt

Monday, April 29, 2024 – 7pm, Pilsen Community Books 1102 W 18th St. Chicago, IL 60608

Join us for a celebration of Yashica Dutt’s new book, Coming Out as Dalit! Yashica Dutt herself will be in conversation with Soumya Rachel Shailendra (Phd Candidate, Comparative Literature and Asian Languages & Literatures, Northwestern University). The event starts with a celebration of Dr. Ambedkar’s life and legacy to mark Ambedkar Jayanti and Dalit History Month! Please write to if you have any questions.

Yashica Dutt is an accomplished writer, speaker, and community builder. From growing up in a formerly untouchable manual scavenging family in small town India, to becoming one of the most recognized openly-Dalit journalists across the world, her story is one of aspiration and achievement against all odds. Disillusioned by Indian media’s myopic coverage of Dalits and their lack of representation in newsrooms, Dutt launched “Documents of Dalit Discrimination” ( ) — a one-of-its-kind safe space for Dalits to discuss their trauma with caste-based discrimination and seek solidarity and support from shared experiences; This also led to her writing Coming Out as Dalit.

Coming Out as Dalit won the Sahitya Akademi Puruskar (India’s National Academy of Letters’ Young Author Award) in 2020, and its US edition includes reflections on caste in the Indian diaspora.

Soumya Rachel Shailendra holds a Mellon Cluster fellowship in Comparative Race and Diaspora Studies. Located at the intersection of Black studies and memory studies, Soumya’s research interrogates the affective structures of caste by studying the sonic and formal registers of lamentation and mourning rituals in twentieth century African American and Dalit literatures. Soumya’s project draws on the transnational and transracial solidarity between the Black Power and anti-caste movements of the early 1970s, and examines the “inner-life” of caste as represented in Dalit and African American writings. She is also interested in Dalit epistemologies, liberation theologies, decolonial thought, and the Black radical tradition. She is proficient in Hindi, Marathi, and Malayalam.

Proudly co-sponsored by COSAS, Global Studies at UChicago, South Asian Students Association, and the Caste and Race Collective