Dickens Leonard

Dickens Leonard
Assistant Professor
Literature
CV Summary: 

Dr. Dickens Leonard joined the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IITD, in October 2021. Prior to this, he worked as faculty at the Center for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (2020-2021) and at the Center for Comparative Literature, University of Hyderabad (2017-2020). He researched on the writings of the 19th century Tamil intellectual Iyothee Thass and Tamil Buddhism for his PhD (2017) from University of Hyderabad. He was formerly DAAD visiting-PhD fellow (2016) at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Georg-August University of Goettingen, Germany. He was awarded the Fulbright-Nehru Post Doctoral Fellowship (2020) to work on a monograph titled "Ethical Dimension of Caste–less Community" that extends his Ph.D., in the US.

Dickens Leonard's educational background and research interests lie in literary studies, comparative literature, film and cultural studies, translation, and the history of anti-caste thought. He is largely interested in critical humanities, in the intersection of these disciplines, as it paves the way towards a meaningful and transformatory pedagogy for Human Sciences. Besides researching, and recently teaching in this area, his current research explores anti-caste intellectual thought and comparative cultural studies in India, foregrounding the Tamil cosmopolis particularly. His publications generally explore how anti-caste intellectuals engaged with religion and literature in the context of colonialism and print in India; and the spatial dynamics of (re)presentation in contemporary Tamil cinema and culture. He is also developing research on literature, culture, and community especially on the interrelation between comparative ethics and aesthetics.

Contact Information

Office: MS 604A
Humanities and Social Sciences
IIT Delhi, Hauz Khas
New Delhi: 110016

Phone: +91 11 2659-8746
Email: dleonardm[at]hss.iitd.ac.in

Research Areas

Anti-caste Thought and Community;

Cinema and Print Cultures;

Literature and Modernity;

Translation and Dalit Studies.

Academic Background

2016-2017: DAAD Visiting-PhD Fellow, Center for Modern Indian Studies, University of Goettingen.

2011–2017: PhD, Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Hyderabad.

2009–2011: MPhil, Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Hyderabad.

2007–2009: MA, Department of English, University of Hyderabad.

2004–2007: BA, Department of English, Loyola College, University of Madras.

Employment History

Oct 2021–present: Assistant Professor (Literature) HSS, IITD.

Dec 2020–Oct 2021: Assistant Professor (Cultural Studies) CSSSC, Kolkata.

July 2017–Dec 2020: Guest Faculty & Assistant Professor (Comp. Lit.) CCL, University of Hyderabad.

Publications

JOURNAL ARTICLES

2021. “Caste-less Tamils and Early Print Public Sphere: Remembering Iyothee Thass (1845-914),” South Asia Research, Sage, Vol 41, No 3, November. Pp 349-68.

https://doi.org/10.1177%2F02627280211034858

2019. “Towards a Casteless Community: Dalit Experience and Thought as ‘Movement’.” Economic and Political Weekly Vol 54, No 21, May 25. Pp 47-54.

https://www.epw.in/journal/2019/21/special-articles/towards-caste-less-c...

2017. “One Step Inside Tamilian: On the Anti-Caste Writing of Language.” Social Scientist Vol 45, Issue 1-2, January-February. Pp 19-32.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/26380327

2015. “Spectacle Spaces: Production of Caste in recent Tamil films.” South Asian Popular Culture Vol 13, Issue 2, October. Pp 155-173.

https://doi.org/10.1080/14746689.2015.1088499

BOOK CHAPTERS

2022. "Magizhchi: 'The Casteless Collective' and the Sensorial Exscription," Coauthored with Manju Edachira in The Routledge Companion to Caste and Cinema in India. Eds. Joshil K. Abraham and Judith Misrahi-Barak. Routledge, pp 63-76.

https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003343578-7

2021. “Conscripts of Cinema: Dangerous and Deviant Third Wave.” Tamil Cinema in the Twenty-First Century: Caste, Gender and Technology. Eds. Selvaraj Velayutham and Vijay Devadas. Routledge, pp 36-51.

http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780429244025-3

2019. “Anti-caste Communitas and Out-caste Experience: Space, Body, Displacement and Writing.” The Politics of Belonging in Contemporary India: Anxiety and Intimacy. Ed. Kaustav Chakraborty. Routledge, pp. 101-125.

http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780429295980-8

2019. “From Discourse to Critique? Iyothee Thass and the Dalit Intellectual Legacy.” Multilingualism and the Literary Culture of India. Ed. M.T. Ansari. Sahitya Akademi, pp 200-234.

https://ompublications.in/product/books/OM44246

2019. “Incommensurable Sacral-Secular Sectarianism? Rohith-Movement and the Emergence of the Inappropriable,” co-authored with P. Thirumal in Secular Sectarianism: Limits of Subaltern Politics. Ed. Ajay Gudavarthy. Sage, pp 23-35.

https://in.sagepub.com/en-in/sas/secular-sectarianism/book271597#contents

Popular Articles

Teaching Areas

Critical Theory and Contemporary Thought;

Indian Literatures and Cinema;

Literary and Cultural Studies;

Print History and Social Movements.

Courses

CV