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The Light of Knowledge – Literacy Activism and the Politics of Writing in South India - Cornell Scholarship Online
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The Light of Knowledge: Literacy Activism and the Politics of Writing in South India

Francis Cody


Since the early 1990s hundreds of thousands of Tamil villagers in southern India have participated in literacy lessons, science demonstrations, and other events designed to transform them into active citizens with access to state power. These efforts to spread enlightenment among the oppressed are part of a movement known as the Arivoli Iyakkam (the Enlightenment Movement), considered to be among the most successful mass literacy movements in recent history. This book highlights the paradoxes inherent in such movements that seek to emancipate people through literacy when literacy is a power-la ... More

Keywords: Tamil villagers, southern India, literacy lessons, Enlightenment Movement, literacy movement, activism, laboring women, marginalized castes

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780801452024
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801452024.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Francis Cody, author
University of Toronto