Gendering Colonial India: Reforms, Print, Caste and Communalism
Charu Gupta (Ed.)
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

Drawing on contemporary critical theories and academic debates, Gendering Colonial India examines how notions of patriarchy were recast and challenged in colonial India between the early nineteenth and the first half of twentieth centuries. This definitive collection of essays analyses the close interaction between gender, caste and community identities.

This volume brings out various regional complexities and lively public debates on social reforms for women and their impact on issues like sati, widow remarriage, domesticity, sexuality and education. It shows how women emerged as both objects and subjects of popular discourse and discussions. Simultaneously, the essays engage with concerns around masculinity, inter-caste intimacies and communal identities.

The debates found multifaceted expression in an emerging dynamic popular-public sphere and also in a flourishing vernacular print culture. These in turn served as powerful tools for propagating dominant ideas about women and for fashioning national, regional and community identities.

The three primary texts translated by J. Devika, Anshu Malhotra and Charu Gupta bring out the relationship, most often fraught, between popular literature, reforms and women.

With contributions from both established and emerging feminist historians, this book will be an indispensible read for students and scholars of modern Indian history, colonialism, nationalism, gender studies and popular culture.

Charu Gupta is Associate Professor in the Department of History, University of Delhi.
Charu Gupta
  1. Giving Masculinity a History: Some Contributions from the Historiography of Colonial India
  2. Mrinalini Sinha
  3. Contested Sacrifice: Sati, Sovereignty and Social Reform in Colonial India
  4. Andrea Major
  5. Wicked Widows: Law and Faith in Nineteenth-Century Public Sphere Debates
  6. Tanika Sarkar
  7. Educated Muslim Women: Real and Ideal
  8. Gail Minault
  9. Re-inscribing ‘Womanliness’: Gendered Spaces and Public Debates in Early Modern Keralam
  10. J. Devika
  11. Print and Bazaari Literature: Jhagrras/Kissas and Gendered Reform in Early Twentieth Century Punjab
  12. Anshu Malhotra
  13. Theatre and Gender in Colonial India: Foregrounding Actresses’ Question
  14. Lata Singh
  15. Fluctuating Fortunes of Wives: Creeping Rigidity in Inter-Caste Marriages in the Colonial Period
  16. Prem Chowdhry
  17. Caste, Colonialism and the Reform of Gender: Perspective from Western India
  18. Anupama Rao
  19. Women, Abductions and Religious Identities in Colonial Bengal
  20. Pradip Kumar Datta
  21. Memory and History: A Daughter’s Testimony
  22. Nonica Datta
  23. Archives and Sexuality: Vignettes from Colonial North India
  24. Charu Gupta
Primary Texts
  1. Sarojini: Womanliness: A Brief Commentary and Translation by
  2. J. Devika
  3. Bhai Sadhu Singh: Witches: That is the Siyapa of the Self-Willed Women A Brief Commentary and Translation by
  4. Anshu Malhotra
  5. Shiv Sharma Mahopdeshak: Women’s Education A Brief Commentary and Translation by
  6. Charu Gupta
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    Notes on the Contributors
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