This book introduces the term "otherism" and looks at the discourse of otherism and the issue of otherness in South Asian religion, literature and film. It examines cultural questions related to the human condition of being the "other," of the process of "othering" and of the representation of "otherness" and its religious, cultural and ideological implications.
The book applies the perspectives of ideological criticism, theories of hybridity, orientalism, nationalism, and gender and queer studies to gain new insights into the literature, film and culture of South Asia. It looks at the different ways of interpreting "otherness" today. The book goes on to analyze the ideological implications of the creation of "otherness" with regard to religious and cultural identity and the legitimation of power, as well as how the representation of "otherness" reflects the power structures of contemporary societies in South Asia.
Offering a well-thought-out reflection on important cultural questions as well as a deep insight into the study of religion and "otherness" in South Asian literature and film, this book is a pioneering project that is of interest to scholars of South Asian Studies and South Asian religions, literatures and cultures.
Table of Contents
Introduction: On Otherism and Othering Diana Dimitrova 1. Part 1: In "Other" Lands: Diaspora, Religion, and Literature 1. The Religion of Coolitude Rashi Rohatgi 2. Religion and "Otherness" in a New World: The Radhasoami Tradition in Transnational Space Diana Dimitrova Part 2: Creating Otherness: Language, Religion, and Literature 3. "Othering" through Language: The Construction of Two Languages and Communal Identities in British India Rahman Tariq 4. The Idea of a Nation: H.R. Bacchan’s Palimpsestian House of Wine Anne Castaing 5. The Politics of "Otherness": The Hindi Plays of Urdu-Hindi Author Upendranath Ashk (1910-1996) Diana Dimitrova Part 3: Representing the "Other:" Otherness, Gender and Sexuality 6. Imagining the Powerful "Other:" Representations of Razia Sultan Urvi Mukhopadhyay 7. Queer Bollywood: Same-Sex Sexuality, Gender Transgression and "Otherness" in Indian Popular Cinema of the 1990s Thomas Waugh 8. Towards an Inclusive, Fluid Construction of Gender and Sexuality in Commercial Indian Cinema(s) Sunny Singh
Diana Dimitrova is Associate Professor of Hinduism and South Asian Religions at the University of Montreal, Canada. She is the author of Western Tradition and Naturalistic Hindi Theatre (2004) and Gender, Religion and Modern Hindi Drama (2008) and is the editor of Religion in Literature and Film in South Asia (2010).
"The book brings out yet another way of examining the notion of exclusion, marginalisation, reconfiguration of identities and subjectivities by foregrounding the process of “othersim” as an analytical lens."
Maunaguru Sidharthan, National University of Singapore, Asian Journal of Social Science 43 (2015) 850–852
'...it challenges existing theoretical frameworks to study the ‘other’ to comprehend various representations of ‘otherness’ and ‘othering’ in the South Asian context, highlighting the importance of context-based theoretical frameworks. By focusing our attention on the various representations of the ‘other’, the volume certainly elicits further dialogue and productive debate.'
George Pati, Valparaiso University, Journal of Hindu Studies, Nov 2016, Vol 9, Issue 3