A Question of Silence
The Sexual Economies of Modern India
Edited by Mary E. John and Janaki Nair
Has there been a ‘conspiracy of silence’ regarding sexuality in India, be it within social movements or as a focus of scholarship? A Question of Silence? interrogates this assumption in order to thematise a crucial field. Prefaced by a detailed introductory overview, the essays use diverse perspectives to develop an understanding of the institutions, practices and forms of representation of sexual relations and their boundaries of legitimacy.
From unravelling the Kamasutra (the text) to investigating KamaSutra (the condom) the volume includes essays on how sexuality has been framed by the law, within social movements, or has been the site for patrolled caste, ethnic or gender identities. Other essays analyse cinematic, televisual and literary representations of sexuality. Taken as a whole, this book makes room for more wide-ranging approaches for tackling the sexual economies of desire and violence among men and women in modern India.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: A Question of Silence? - Mary E. John and Janaki Nair
2. Unravelling the Kamasutra - Kumkum Roy
3. Offences agaist Marriage - Samita Sen
4. ‘Left to the Imagination’: Indian nationalisms and female sexuality - Tejaswini Niranjana
5. Reproductive Bodies and Regulated Sexuality - Anandhi S.
6. Comrades-in-Arms - U. Vindhya
7. Sexuality and the Film Apparatus - Ravi Vasudevan
8. Citizenship and its Discontents - Susie Tharu
9. Inventing Saffron History - Uma Chakravarti
10. Uneven Modernities and Ambivalent Sexualities - Kalpana Ram
11. On Bodily Love and Hurt - V. Geetha
12. Enforcing Cultural Codes - Prem Chowdhry
13. Globalisation, Sexuality and the Visual Field - Mary E.John
About the Authors:
MARY JOHN is Senior Fellow at the Centre for Women's Development Studies, New Delhi. Her book Discrepant Dislocations: Feminism, Theory and Postcolonial Histories (1996) has been co-published by the University of California Press and Oxford University Press, Delhi. Current research interests include the history of the Indian women's movement, and the formation of women's studies, international feminism and problems of globalisation.
JANAKI NAIR is Fellow at the Madras Institute of Development Studies and is currently Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore. She has written on the social, cultural and political history of modern India. She has published widely in Indian and international journals. Her publications include Women and Law in Colonial India (Kali for Women, 1996) and Miners and Millhands: Work, Culture and Politics in Princely Mysore (Sage, 1998). She has also produced and directed 'After the Gold', a documentary film of the Kolar gold fields (Betcam Video, 1997).
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