1st Edition

The 1984 Anti-Sikh Violence Narration and Trauma in Language and Literature

By Ritika Singh Copyright 2025
    248 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This book presents a comprehensive theoretical study of fictional and non-fictional narratives of the 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India.

    It contributes to the expanding field of trauma and memory studies in literature through an interdisciplinary approach. The volume builds on perspectives from the fields of neurobiology, sociology, psychology, and literary theory to offer an integrative and fresh approach to reading and locating trauma in narratives. Going beyond a simple reading of silence, the author discusses themes which encompass othering of the Sikh body; visual, echoic, olfactory memories; somatic expressions of trauma; experiences of women, instances of rape and sexual atrocities; children as young witnesses and intergenerational trauma, to understand questions of agency and politics of remembering.

    Incisive and invigorating, this pioneering book is a must read for students of memory and trauma studies, Sikh studies, South Asian literature, gender studies, English studies, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, psychology, exclusion studies, and political sociology.

    Introduction 1. Hair, Hurt, and Humiliation: Othering the Sikh Body 2. Been There, Seen That: Sensory Witnessing 3. Siapa and Shivers: Somatic Expressions 4. Stor(y)ing Rape: To Speak or Not to Speak 5. Children of the Carnage: Intergenerational Trauma. Conclusion. Bibliography.


    Ritika Singh's research focuses on the crosstalk between trauma, memory, and literary theory. More specifically, she is engaged in analysing the voicing of wounds. Her contributions to the field have been recognized through publications with academic publishers such as Cambridge Scholars, John Benjamins, and the University of Calabria. She is currently teaching literature as Assistant Professor at the Department of English, Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University where she specialises in teaching courses on partition literature, literary theory, women's writing, and postcolonialism. She has a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.