Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10739/5121
Title: The violence of odors: sensory politics of caste in a leather tannery.
Authors: Kapoor, Shivani
Keywords: Caste
Leather
Senses
Odors
Issue Date: 16-Mar-2021
Publisher: The Senses and Society, Taylor and Francis, UK
Citation: Kapoor, S. (2021). The violence of odors: sensory politics of caste in a leather tannery. The Senses and Society, 16(2), 164-176.
Abstract: Leather is a sensuous object marked by complex affects of desire and disgust. In India, this disgust is amplified due to the association of leather with caste. This paper examines the leather tannery as a space produced through the sensuous discourse of caste violence, which functions by marking leatherworking bodies with odors, that in turn perpetuate affectual and material possibilities of humiliation and discrimination. This violence of odors has no place in the deodorized discourse of law and yet in the sensuous ordering of caste there is nothing more repulsive than to carry the stench of tannery on oneself. The paper examines this intangible and sensual character of caste violence by closely following Paul Stoller’s methodological argument that sensuousness forms the field on which phenomena play out and through which they can be understood. Keeping in mind the value-laden and subjective nature of sensuousness, the paper also reflects on the ways in which the sensory politics of caste frames the interactions between the field and the body of the researcher – both of which are determined by the norms of caste. The ethnographic descriptions of caste and violence in the tannery on which this paper is based are thus mediated by multiple sensorial perceptions, including those of the researcher.
URI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17458927.2021.1876365
http://hdl.handle.net/10739/5121
ISSN: 1745-8927
Appears in Collections:JGU Research Publications

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