Nature, Culture and Gender: Re-reading the folktale, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Nature, Culture and Gender

Re-reading the folktale, 1st Edition

By P. Mary Vidya Porselvi

Routledge India

196 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138676749
pub: 2016-04-25
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pub: 2016-04-20
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Folktales in India have been told, heard, read and celebrated for many centuries. In breaking new ground, Indian folktales have been reread and examined in the light of the Mother Earth discourse as it manifests in the lifeworlds of women, nature and language. The book introduces ecofeminist criticism and situates it within an innovative folktale typology to connect women and environment through folklore. The book proposes an innovative paradigm inspired by the beehive to analyze motifs, relationships, concerns, worldviews and consciousness of indigenous women and men who live close to nature as well as other socially marginalized groups.

In the current global context fraught with challenges for ecology and hopes for sustainable development, this book with its interdisciplinary approach will interest scholars and researchers of literature, environmental studies, gender studies and cultural anthropology.


‘The selection of Indian folktales is very interesting and shows what a rich vein of knowledge is stored by ordinary (and some very extraordinary) people. Highly original is the classification of tales as: Isis Panthea, Amma-I-Appan, Her-Meta, Athena’s Wit, Annamangai, Sis-Tie, Woody-Woman, Vana-Devi, Tellus-Ma, Aqua-Stree, Aves-Eve and Fauna-Fem. Each of these classificatory names shows a sense of humour embedded in deep poetic and symbolic understanding of the mythic oral tradition. The author combines linguistic knowledge along with an understanding of the hidden mother lode of the story seam.’

Susan Hawthorne, Adjunct Professor, James Cook University, Australia

Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgement Introduction 1. Mother Earth Discourse 2. The Creator and the Created 3. Silences and Speech 4. Food, Household and Sisterhood 5. Trees and Forest 6. Land and Water 7. Birds and Animals Conclusion Glossary Bibliography Index

About the Author

P. Mary Vidya Porselvi is Assistant Professor of English, Loyola College, Chennai, India, and was previously Lecturer in the Department of English at Stella Maris College (2000–03), Chennai. She obtained her BA, MA and PhD degrees from Stella Maris College, and recently completed the University Grants Commission project ‘Translation of Folktales with Ecofeminist Concerns from Tamil to English’. She has authored two English workbooks: Affirmative Words and Radiant Expressions (2012) and Cornucopia: English Language Learning through World Folklore (2013).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Folklore & Mythology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies