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Subaltern Studies #11: Community, Gender and Violence: Subaltern Studies XIby Subaltern Studies Conference
Synopses & Reviews
In its early phase, "Subaltern Studies" dealt extensively with the issue of community and violence in the context of peasant uprisings. The present volume concentrates on gender and national politics and introduces a wide range of new issues raised by the relations between community, gender and violence.
"Subaltern Studies" was launched in 1982 under the editorship of Ranajit Guha as a critique of the two dominant approaches to history-writing in South Asia -the colonialist and the nationalist. Rejecting both approaches as elitist, "Subaltern Studies" attempted to recover that space of politics where dominated and marginal groups -the subaltern classes -had tried to assert their own initiative.
"Subaltern Studies" was launched in 1982 under the editorship of Ranajit Guha as a critique of the two dominant approaches to history-writing in South Asia — the colonialist and the nationalist. Rejecting both approaches as ilitist, "Subaltern Studies" attempted to recover that space of politics where dominated and marginal groups — the subaltern classes — had tried to assert their own initiative.
In its early phase, "Subaltern Studies" dealt extensively with the issue of community and violence in the context of peasant uprisings. Once the problems of peasant involvement in the modern politics of the nation were subjected to the same critical scrutiny, complexities in that relationship began to emerge. A new dimension was introduced when gender and national politics came to be taken seriously and in the present volume the whole range of new issues raised by the relations between community, gender and violence are addressed.
The question of women and the nation, especially among minorities, features strongly in this work. Qadri Ismail examines the claims of Tamil nationalism in Sri Lanka from the standpoint of the Southern Tamil woman; Aamir Mufti looks not at the familiar gendered figure of the nation as mother but, from the standpoint of the rejected minority, at the brutalized prostitute; while Tejaswini Niranjana writes on the "new woman" in contemporary Indian cinema.
Further chapters look at women and minorities in the context of the law: Flavia Agnes examines the colonial and nationalist histories of the Hindu law of marriage and women's property, Nivedita Menon critically reviews the Indian debate over the universal civil code, and David Scott discusses, with an eyeto Sri Lanka, the concept of minority rights within modern theories of citizenship.
The issue of violence is taken up by Satish Deshpande in his study of the imagined space within which the new Hindu Right seeks to assert its dominance, and by Pradeep Jeganathan in his exploration of violence in the cultivation of masculinity. In her conclusion, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak considers the position within a globalized economic space of the "new subaltern" — the Third World laboring woman.
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History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology