1st Edition

Women, Gender and History in India

By Nita Kumar Copyright 2023
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    Women, Gender and History in India examines Indian history through a thematic lens of women and gender across different contexts.

    Through an inter-disciplinary approach, Nita Kumar uses sources from literature, folklore, religion, and art to discuss historical and anthropological ways of interpreting the issues surrounding women and gender in history. As part of the scholarly movement away from a Grand Narrative of South Asian history and culture, this volume places emphasis on the diversity of women and their experiences. It does this by including analyses of many different primary sources together with discussion around a wide variety of theoretical and methodological debates – from the mixed role of colonial law and education to the conundrum of a patriarchy that worships the Goddess while it strives to keep women in subservience.

    This textbook is essential reading for those studying Indian history and women and gender studies.

    1. Gender in South Asia

    2. Ancient India

    3. Buddhism and the Emergence of Hinduism: The Maurya and Gupta Periods

    4. The Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Dynasties

    5. The Colonial Period: Changes in Work Roles

    6. The Colonial Period: Changes in Socialisation and Education

    7. The Colonial Period Into the Present: Marriage, Widowhood, Reform

    8. Nationalism and Partition

    9. Gender, Women, and Hinduism

    10. Gender, Women, and Islam

    11. Sexuality, Films, and the Arts


    Nita Kumar is Professor Emerita, Claremont McKenna College, California, and Honorary Director, NIRMAN, Varanasi. Her research includes the history and anthropology of education, children, women, artisans, and Banaras. Her publications include The Artisans of Banaras (1988), Friends, Brothers, and Informants (1992), Lessons from Schools (2000), and The Politics of Gender, Communities, and Modernity (2007).