Transborder Conversations on Race, Caste, and Indigeneity (RCI Workshops) at the University of Minnesota were conceptualized and launched in Spring 2013 by Richa Nagar and Himadeep Muppidi (Vassar College), with participation of other faculty members including, Diyah Larasati (Theater Arts & Dance), Ajay Skaria (History), Zenzele Isoke (GWSS) at UMN and Luke Harris (Political Science) and Samson Opondo (Political Science and Africana Studies) at Vassar College, and they have been supported chiefly by UMN's Institute for Global Studies and the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change. These workshops have approached the praxis of knowledge making as participating in inadequate translations and fragile representations across borders: sometimes these efforts enable novel imaginations and new forms of inquiry; at others, the movements of knowledges and knowledge-makers inflict silences and (fore)closures.
The participants have come together to ask: How are these imaginations and silences related to multiple layers of negotiation? How are they enmeshed with the politics of time, space, and location; and with the poetics and praxis of writing, knowing, claiming, and learning? How might conversations among people who are committed to understanding race, caste, and indigeneity from multiple locations allow us to grapple with the complex possibilities created by movements of knowledge, as well as the silences and hauntings that accompany those movements? This collective inquiry approaches knowledges and struggles around race, caste and indigeneity as grounded in specific "sites,” yet transcending locality. In rethinking our struggles with inadequate translations, the workshops seek to create new knowledges, pedagogies, and solidarities through shared restlessness.