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Visible Histories, Disappearing Women: Producing Muslim Womanhood in Late Colonial Bengal

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Visible Histories, Disappearing Women, Mahua Sarkar examines how Muslim women in colonial Bengal came to be more marginalized than Hindu women in nationalist discourse and subsequent historical accounts. She also considers how their near-invisibility except as victims has underpinned the construction of the ideal citizen-subject in late colonial India. Through critical engagements with significant feminist and postcolonial scholarship, Sarkar maps out when and where Muslim women enter into the written history of colonial Bengal. She argues that the nation-centeredness of history as a discipline and the intellectual politics of liberal feminism have together contributed to the production of Muslim women as the oppressed, mute, and invisible “other” of the normative modern Indian subject.

Drawing on extensive archival research and oral histories of Muslim women who lived in Calcutta and Dhaka in the first half of the twentieth century, Sarkar traces Muslim women as they surface and disappear in colonial, Hindu nationalist, and liberal Muslim writings, as well as in the memories of Muslim women themselves. The oral accounts provide both a rich source of information about the social fabric of urban Bengal during the final years of colonial rule and a glimpse of the kind of negotiations with stereotypes that even relatively privileged, middle-class Muslim women are still frequently obliged to make in India today. Sarkar concludes with some reflections on the complex links between past constructions of Muslim women, current representations, and the violence against them in contemporary India.

Synopsis:

Argues that the discursive erasure of Muslim women within colonial and Hindu nationalist discourse underpinned the construction of other identity categories in late colonial Bengal and remains linked to violence against Indian Muslim women today.

About the Author

Mahua Sarkar is Associate Professor of Sociology and a faculty member of the Women’s Studies and Asian and Asian-American Studies programs at Binghamton University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780822342342
Author:
Sarkar, Mahua
Publisher:
Duke University Press
Subject:
History
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Women in islam
Subject:
Great Britain Colonies Asia.
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Gender Studies-Womens Studies
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20080431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

» History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » World Feminism
» History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies

Visible Histories, Disappearing Women: Producing Muslim Womanhood in Late Colonial Bengal New Trade Paper
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Product details 352 pages Duke University Press - English 9780822342342 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Argues that the discursive erasure of Muslim women within colonial and Hindu nationalist discourse underpinned the construction of other identity categories in late colonial Bengal and remains linked to violence against Indian Muslim women today.
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