This book frames the major debates and contemporary issues in women’s and gender studies in India. It locates them in the context of key theories, their interlinkages, and significant crossings and overlaps within the field while juxtaposing feminist and queer perspectives.
The essays in the volume foreground emerging challenges as well as offer clues to future trajectories for women’s and gender studies in the country through a comprehensive and interdisciplinary survey of intersectionalities in feminist activism and theory; gender, caste and class; feminist, masculinity, queer and transgender studies; disability and feminism; feminist and queer pedagogies; and Indian, Western and transnational feminisms. The volume traces how gender studies have shaped established social science as well as interpretative and representational discourses (psychoanalysis, literature, aesthetics, cinema, new media studies and folklore). It examines their strategic potential to draw upon and transform these areas in national and international contexts.
This book will be useful to students, teachers and researchers in women’s studies, gender studies, cultural studies, queer studies and South Asian studies.
Table of Contents
List of figures. List of tables. Contributors. Acknowledgements.
Introduction: women’s and gender Studies at the crossroads. Anu Aneja
Part I Stirrings, across time and place
1. (How) ‘to be or not to be’: women’s and gender studies in India today. Sharon Pillai 2. Feminist crossings in time and space: the question of culture. Mary E. John 3. Dynamics of the women’s movement and women’s studies in India: an evolutionary perspective. Vibhuti Patel 4. Intersections of gender, caste and class: agenda building in the Indian women’s Movement. Mangala Subramaniam and Preethi Krishnan 5. Beyond essentialism: ecofeminism and the ‘friction’ between gender and ecology. Anindita Majumdar 6. Locating disability in the Indian women’s movement. Anita Ghai
Part II Interleaves: conceiving theories, theorizing identities
7. Feminist theory and the aesthetic re-turn. Anu Aneja 8. Masculinity, sexuality and culture: entangled narratives. Sanjay Srivastava 9. Pride and prejudice: intersectional perspectives on identity formation through Indian pride events. Namita Paul 10. (Dis)ability, gender and identity: crossing boundaries. Shubhangi Vaidya. 11. Gender, caste and Indian feminism: the case of the Women’s Reservation Bill. Vrinda Marwah 12. Bharat Mata, melodrama and the mediation of the national subject. Karen Gabriel
Part III In-disciplinarities
13. Feminism across disciplines: from Plato’s Academy to the streets of Delhi. Deepti Priya Mehrotra 14. Reconfiguring the disciplinary boundaries of women’s and gender studies through the genre of lifewritings. Meenakshi Malhotra 15. Transgender studies in India: locating folklore and autobiographies as transgressive sites. Akshaya K. Rath 16. Crafting spaces at new intersections: in search of psychoanalytic feminism for India. Rachana Johri 17. (Dis)respectable selfies: honour, surveillance and the undisciplined girl. Sujatha Subramanian
Part IV Entwining feminism and pedagogy: inside the institution
18. Working through the women’s and gender studies teaching machine: notes on the way forward. Sharon Pillai 19. Blending in: reconciling feminist pedagogy and distance education. Anu Aneja 20. Disrupting the gender binary: queering feminist pedagogy. Leena Pujari
Part V Conversations across borders
21. Transnational feminist crossings: on neo-liberalism and radical critique. Chandra Talpade Mohanty 22. Globalization and Third Way theories: the beleaguered family and the marginalization of women. Taisha Abraham 23. When feminists sidestep the nation state: transnational feminist journeys. Krishna Menon 24. Queer and now: a roundtable forum with Dipika Jain, Akhil Kang, Sheena Malhotra, Hoshang Merchant, Shakthi Nataraj, Chayanika Shah, Nishant Shahani, Oishik Sircar and Ruth Vanita. Aneil Rallin
Anu Aneja is Professor at the School of Gender and Development Studies, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, India, and is currently Associate Editor for Gender and Education. She taught for several years at Ohio Wesleyan University, USA, where she was the recipient of the Rebecca Brown Professor of Literature award. She was awarded the Beatrice B. Maines fellowship for research in women’s studies, at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include feminist theory and aesthetics; contemporary French, francophone and Indian women writers; feminist perspectives on mothering; and feminist pedagogy. Her publications have appeared in various international journals. She is the author of Embodying Motherhood: Perspectives from Contemporary India (co-authored with Shubhangi Vaidya, 2016) and the editor of Gender and Distance Education: Indian and International Contexts (2019). She has previously served as Chairperson, Department of Humanities and Classics, Ohio Wesleyan University; and Director, School of Continuing Education, and Director, School of Gender and Development Studies, IGNOU. She has also served on the editorial team of the Indian Journal of Open Learning, IGNOU.