This book offers the first substantial critical examination of men and masculinities in relation to political crises in South Asian literatures and cultures. It employs political crisis as a frame to analyze how South Asian men and masculinities have been shaped by critical historical events, events which have redrawn maps and remapped or unmapped bodies with different effects. These include colonialism, anti-colonialism, state formations, civil wars, religious conflicts, and migration. Political crisis functions as a framing device to offer nuances and clarifications to the assumed visibility of male bodies and male activities during political crisis.
The focus on masculinities in historical moments of crisis divests masculinity of its naturalization and calls for a heterogeneous conceptualization of the everyday practices and experiences of ‘being a man.’ Written by scholars from a variety of theoretical perspectives and disciplinary approaches, and drawing on a range of written and visual texts, this book contributes to this recent rethinking of South Asian literary and cultural history by engaging masculinity as a historicized category of analysis that accommodates an understanding of history as differentiated encounters among bodies, cultures, and nations. This book was originally published as a special issue of South Asian History and Culture.
Table of Contents
Introduction - Mapping South Asian masculinities: men and political crises Chandrima Chakraborty
Section I: The Past and the Present
1. Uncles of the nation: avuncular masculinity in partition-era politics Sailaja Krishnamurti
2. Valour, violence and the ethics of struggle: constructing militant masculinities in Sri Lanka Jani de Silva
3. Once were warriors: the militarized state in narrating the past Bina D’Costa
4. Limp wrists, inflammatory punches: violence, masculinity, and queer sexuality in Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy Rahul K. Gairola
5. Daniyal Mueenuddin’s dying men Shazia Sadaf
Section II: Migratory Routes
6. Recuperating Indian masculinity: Mohandas Gandhi, war and the Indian diaspora in South Africa (1899–1914) Arafaat A. Valiani
7. ‘My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist’: disability and asexuality in My Name is Khan Jana Fedtke
8. Representing diasporic masculinities in post-9/11 era: the tragedy versus the comedy Umme Al-wazedi
9. ‘Bling-bling economics’ and the cultural politics of masculinity in Gautam Malkani’s Londonstani Kasim Husain
Chandrima Chakraborty is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She has published extensively on Indian nationalism, gender, and memory. Publications include, Masculinity, Asceticism, Hinduism: Past and Present Imaginings of India (2011), a Feature Section in Topia on the 1985 Air India bombings, and The Art of Public Mourning: Remembering Air India (forthcoming).