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Applications For The Navayana Dalit History Fellowship Now Open

Applications For The Navayana Dalit History Fellowship Now Open
  • Fellowship
  • Remote

Website Navayana Dalit History Fellowship

Navayana is proud to announce the Navayana Dalit History Fellowship 2021.

Navayana will be funding a minimum of two authors to help them write manuscripts that deal with dalit history. The term ‘dalit history’ can be interpreted with some amount of fluidity—the work has to be nonfictional, have scholarly rigour, but also be suitable for non-specialist adult readers. The work could also be the fruit of research and groundwork that has already been done. Those who are working on translation efforts pertaining to dalit history are also welcome to apply.

Send your proposals, in English, of not more than 3,000 words, before 30 June 2021. Nothing being really equal in this world, dalit applicants and beef-eaters will be given preference.

Selected candidates will be awarded Rs 1 lakh.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Every applicant must send in a proposal for a full-length manuscript that is relevant to the remit of the fellowship.
  2. The proposal must be not more than 3,000 words long.
  3. It must include a working title, and must summarize the aims, methods and scope of the project. Additional information about style choices and other formalistic details are also welcome.
  4. For an indicative list of the kinds of narratives we are soliciting, refer to the above introductory note. As examples, we welcome histories of movements, campaigns, local struggles, ideological or cultural movements, histories of organisations or periodicals, biographies, or even stories of individual lives. The ambit of dalit history is wide. We leave it to the applicants to surprise us with their interpretations of the term.
  5. The proposal must include a tentative timeline for the completion of the manuscript. Draft manuscripts will need to have a minimum length of 50,000 words.
  6. Applicants will also need to send in a Curriculum Vitae of not more than two pages, which must include their name, email address, contact number and an address of residence. Applicants can also send in previously published long-form writing samples, if any.
  7. All documents must be sent in the .doc or .docx format. Do not send PDFs.
  8. Those who wish to write in a subcontinental language other than English will be required to submit their proposals both in their language of choice and in English translation.
  9. Applicants can be citizens of the world; while there is no age limit, early career scholars are encouraged to apply.
  10. Each individual may only send one proposal. Please do not send more than one entry for the fellowship.
  11. Joint proposals are acceptable.
  12. All applicants must write a paragraph about why they are applying for the Navayana Dalit History Fellowship; non-dalits must account for their engagement with dalit history.
  13. Applicants are not to make any direct contact with jury members regarding their proposals.
  14. Send your proposals to with the following Subject line <Navayana Dalit History Fellowship 2021>.
  15. Only the proposals submitted by 30 June 2021, 11.59 pm IST will be considered eligible for the award.

Selection Process:

  1. The key criteria for selection will be: originality of the proposal; clarity of thought; elegance of writing; the ability to address a cross-section of readers.
  2. There will be two rounds of selection. In the first round a shortlist of a minimum of ten proposals will be prepared.
  3. The shortlisted candidates will then be interviewed (online), across two days, by a final selection committee which will include:
    • Suraj Yengde, scholar and writer, Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the author of Caste Matters
    • Thomas Blom Hansen, professor of anthropology at Stanford University, and author of many books on Hindu nationalism, including The Saffron Wave: Democracy and Hindu Nationalism in Modern India and The Law of Force: The Violent Heart of Indian Politics
    • Yashica Dutt, writer and journalist, author of the award-winning Coming Out As Dalit: A Memoir
    • Divya Malhari, assistant professor of English at St Joseph’s College of Commerce, and a writer at her widely read blog, Dat Lit Writer
    • Aman Sethi, reporter, former editor of HuffPost India and author of A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi
    • Shailaja Paik, professor of history at University of Cincinnati who has worked on the intersection of caste and gender, and author of Dalit Women’s Education in Modern India: Double Discrimination
    • S. Anand, publisher of Navayana, coauthor of Bhimayana and Finding My Way, has annotated some of the writings and speeches of B.R. Ambedkar
  4. The online interview dates will be between 14 June to 19 June and this will be intimated to the shortlisted applicants at a later date.
  5. In the case that non-English language proposals are shortlisted, we will enlist new members to the jury: between them, the above jury can handle Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi.
  6. Some of the jury members will also act as mentors to the fellows. Since any such selection process includes as much as it regrettably excludes, all shortlisted applicants will receive feedback on how they may work on their pitches.
  7. After the interviews, a minimum of two proposals will be selected as recipients of the Navayana Dalit History Fellowship. This will be announced before the end of June 2021.

Award Information:

  • Selected candidates will be given an award of Rs 1 lakh each in three instalments: fifty percent will be given at the beginning of the fellowship, twenty-five percent mid-term, and the final tranche at the time of submission of a manuscript.
  • Multiple candidates applying as co-authors will be given a single award to be shared equally.
  • For qualifying proposals of non-English make, while Navayana may help find a translator for the final manuscript, the fellowship does not cover the translation costs.
  • All decisions reached by the selection committee are final.
  • The manuscript resulting from the fellowship will be published by Navayana.
  • Along with the financial award, the selected candidates will receive editorial feedback and assistance in the creation of the manuscript.
  • The submission of the final manuscript must not exceed more than eighteen months after the commencement of the fellowship.
  • A flexible, but regular, schedule for updates and progress reports will be fixed with selected candidates after the awarding of the fellowship.
Deadline: 30th June, 2021 11:59 PM IST

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