Women Studies -- Publications

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    Between Politics and Discipline: Gender Studies in an Institutional Setting
    ( 2015-06-03) Sreenivas, Deepa
    This article draws on the classroom experiences of the author to reflect on the pedagogic shifts in Gender Studies. Along with its recognition as being a ‘proper’ discipline and the need to have Gender Studies at all levels in a university, comes the question of legitimacy. It must now be defined by boundaries, protocols and methodologies. I look at the manner in which these conditions unfold in two settings—in the undergraduate and the research classrooms. In the first context, young, freshly-out-of-school students appear to view Gender Studies as a gender sensitisation programme while in the latter methodological/ empirical certainties often take precedence over the need for analytical probing. In both cases, the initial imagination of the subject as a ‘critical perspective’ across disciplines appears to yield to a more official, programmatic understanding. In my own context, I grapple with the simultaneous visibility and reduction of Women’s/Gender Studies.
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    Telling different tales: Possible childhoods in children's literature
    ( 2011-08-01) Sreenivas, Deepa
    This article draws on the insights/questions that emerged while putting together a set of stories for children published in a series named Different Tales. These stories, set in Dalit and other minority communities, problematize the normative grids through which we view 'childhood' as they depict the complex ways in which children negotiate and cope with the material conditions of their marginality, often drawing upon the resources and relationships within the community. What follows is a resistance to representing culture as a marker of essentialized difference. © The Author(s) 2011.
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    Forging new communities: Gendered childhood through the lens of caste
    ( 2010-12-01) Sreenivas, Deepa
    This article focuses on the narratives of two dalit women which offer new, enabling imaginings of community that open up radical possibilities for rethinking questions of childhood and gender. These texts turn a critical gaze on an upper caste feminist practice and the discourses of childhood, schooling and emancipation that are tied to it. Childhood has been hegemonically represented as a state of innocence and vulnerability and is marked off from the world of adult anxieties and responsibilities. Such representations are generally implicated in abstract, internationalist notions of child rights and remain disengaged from the historical contexts that shape children's lives. The dominant discourse of the girl child does not problematize the field qualifying as childhood; instead, it proposes that the female child has been excluded from the same. The cause of this exclusion is identified as gender discrimination, reinforcing the primacy of sexual difference and allowing it to subsume all other forms of differences - caste, class, region or community - that exist among children. The article argues that these two narratives disrupt the neat separation between the modernizing nation/ emancipatory self and the regressive community. As each narrative takes us through the life of a dalit girl, it articulates a critique of gender as a category abstracted from material circumstances that constitute women's lives. Gender in these narratives emerges as complexly intermeshed with caste and community. © The Author(s) 2010.
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    Women's worlds in the novels of Kandukuri and Gilman
    ( 2012-01-01) Rani, Suneetha
    In her article "Women's Worlds in the Novels of Kandukuri and Gilman" Suneetha Rani discusses Veeresalingam Kandukuri's Satyaraja Poorvadesayatralu (Satyaraja's Travel to the Distant Lands) and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland. While the novels were published in two different contexts - one in pre-independence India and the other in pre-World War I in the U.S., one in Telugu and the other in English, one by a man and the other by a woman - there is an interesting connecting thread that brings them together. Both were satires on the contemporary male chauvinistic world. While the Telugu novel pleads for a better treatment of upper-caste Indian women, the US-American novel looks hopefully towards an ideal world where men do not exist. Rani discusses the strengths and weaknesses of both novels while at the same time her analysis suggests the relevance of both authors' work today. © Purdue University.