Stewart Allen
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Circuits of knowledge
in An ethnography of NGO practice in India
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This chapter introduces the solar workshop training programme of the Barefoot College that aims to turn subaltern women into Barefoot solar engineers (BSEs) through perhaps unusual learning methods. It presents a challenge to the discourse prevalent in neoliberalism of the ‘developed woman’ as a self-maximising subject, a beneficiary of empowerment, able to channel voice and power through these newly developing knowledge spaces. Such discourses often fail to register the particular kinds of material assemblages through which they are enacted, and the tangible ways in which knowledge and subjects are formed, yet also silenced by different materialities.

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