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The Indian Scottsboro and African American Agency: Utpal Dutt's The Rights of Man/Maanusher Adhikare

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Abstract:

Connections between African American and South Asian politics in the modern period traditionally focus on well-known actors in history, such as W.E.B. DuBois, Lala Lajpat Rai, and other men active in the public sphere, usually analyzed for their contributions to formal politics. Though such connections are certainly extremely important, I analyze a play written in 1969, by the Communist and activist Utpal Dutt, titled The Rights of Man (Maanusher Adhikare in the original Bengali) written entirely from library research in India. This play not only presents a version of the trials and politics surrounding the trials, but presents the racial and class-based disparities of the American South of the Great Depression into a global framework. Additionally, the play (written as it was in the 1960s) includes a prologue and epilogue commemorating Black Power struggles in the USA as a version of global anti-colonial resistance against structures of oppression. I examine this play for its insights into South Asian appropriations of African American history as well as for an excursion into a cosmopolitanism based on anti-colonial solidarity, using the agency of African Americans in history.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435835_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Bose, Neilesh. "The Indian Scottsboro and African American Agency: Utpal Dutt's The Rights of Man/Maanusher Adhikare" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435835_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bose, N. "The Indian Scottsboro and African American Agency: Utpal Dutt's The Rights of Man/Maanusher Adhikare" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435835_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: Connections between African American and South Asian politics in the modern period traditionally focus on well-known actors in history, such as W.E.B. DuBois, Lala Lajpat Rai, and other men active in the public sphere, usually analyzed for their contributions to formal politics. Though such connections are certainly extremely important, I analyze a play written in 1969, by the Communist and activist Utpal Dutt, titled The Rights of Man (Maanusher Adhikare in the original Bengali) written entirely from library research in India. This play not only presents a version of the trials and politics surrounding the trials, but presents the racial and class-based disparities of the American South of the Great Depression into a global framework. Additionally, the play (written as it was in the 1960s) includes a prologue and epilogue commemorating Black Power struggles in the USA as a version of global anti-colonial resistance against structures of oppression. I examine this play for its insights into South Asian appropriations of African American history as well as for an excursion into a cosmopolitanism based on anti-colonial solidarity, using the agency of African Americans in history.


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