ICLS Ambedkar Initiative
Institute for Comparative Literature and Society
B. R. Ambedkar is arguably one of Columbia University’s most illustrious alumni, and a democratic thinker and constitutional lawyer who had enormous impact in shaping India, the world’s largest democracy. Ambedkar came to Columbia University in July 1913 to enter a master's and doctoral program in Political Science. He earned a Master’s degree in 1915, and a PhD in 1927 at Columbia, after having studied with some of the great figures of interwar American thought including John Dewey. In 1952, Columbia University awarded Ambedkar an honorary LL.D.
The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society is pleased to announce the Ambedkar Initiative, led by Professor Anupama Rao. The Ambedkar Initiative links Columbia University with the anti-caste legacy of B. R. Ambedkar and recognizes his continued relevance to discussions about social justice, affirmative action, and democratic thinking in a global frame.
For more information, visit https://icls.columbia.edu/initiatives/ambedkar-initiative/
2020-21 Understanding Racism Series: The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society is committed to the goal of social justice through education and critical scholarship. To address the urgent need to combat racism in our times, we introduce a new 2020-2021 conversation/lecture series called “Understanding Systemic Racism” to reflect on the roots of racial discrimination, class oppression, colonial injustice, and other institutionalized oppression and sanction for violence against Black people and peoples of color. We stress the importance of opening the U.S. centered conversations surrounding race and identity toward a broad and comparative reckoning with racism and its violent histories around the world. The webinar series is programmed in conjunction with our Ambedkar Initiative that links Columbia University with the anti-caste legacy of B. R. Ambedkar to reflect on his continued relevance to discussions about social justice, affirmative action, and democratic thinking in a global frame.