Women Speak Nation underlines the centrality of gender within the ideological construction of nationalism. The volume locates itself in a rich scholarship of feminist critique of the relationship between political, economic, cultural, and social formations and normative gendered relations to try and understand the cross-currents in contemporary feminist theorizing and politics.
The chapters question the gendered depictions of the nation as Hindu, upper caste, middle class, heterosexual, able-bodied Indian mother. The volume also brings together interviews and short essays from practitioners and activists who voice an alternative reimagining of the nation.
The book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of gender, politics, modern South Asian history, and cultural studies.
Table of Contents
Women speak nation: an introduction
PART I Gender, nation, and nationalism
1 Women and nation revisited
2 The Verma Committee report, 2013: notes on nation, gender, and crime
3 The gendered nation: to be recoded or rejected?
PART II Class-caste-community: negotiating the secular, the liberal, and the modern
4 Shia women and their ‘place-making’: gendered agency in the Muharram gatherings in Kolkata
5 Speaking in a different voice: Dalit women writing in Bengali
6 Dance of dissent: dancing Tagore in the age of nationalism
PART III Women’s movement(s), representations, and resistances
7 Towards reparative readings: reflections on feminist solidarities in a troubling present
8 Political motherhood and a spectacular resistance: (Re)examining the Kangla Fort Protest, Manipur
9 ‘Their’ suicide letter: an exercise in reading that is always incomplete
10 Inside/out: women’s movement and women in movements
Mallarika Sinha Roy
PART IV Voices of dissent
11 Resisting AFSPA, fighting the nation: an interview with Irom Sharmila Chanu
12 Narratives from Bastar: an interview with Soni Sori
13 Living in Curfewland: Kashmir 2016
14 Coal mining and ecological fragility: questioning development, questioning growth
15 Tale of a Brahmin and a Shudrani
Kalyani Thakur (translated from Bangla by Sayantan Dasgupta)
Panchali Ray is an independent researcher based in New Delhi, India. She is the author of Politics of Precarity: Gendered Subjects and the Health Care Industry in Contemporary Kolkata. Her areas of interest include labour, migration, violence, sexualities, and collective politics.
"This collection of essays is a fascinating snapshot of the relationship between women and nation in present-day India. The essays, which focus on topics spanning crimes against women, women's dissent, and how the fragility of the environment and development affects women, are a powerful admonition of the political landscape of 21st-century India."
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; professionals.
--J. M. Morris, Mount St. Joseph University, CHOICE, March 2020 Vol. 57 No. 5