vol 29 - 2003 Issue 37-1 Issue 37-2
Issue 37-1

In fall 2000, Feminist Studies published a special issue on gender studies in India and the South Asian diaspora, reviewing the trajectory of women’s movements and identity formations and offering potent writing on citizenship, community, and nationalism. Over ten years later, this special issue presents important advances in feminist scholarship on the region. In a decade that has witnessed the official decriminalization of homosexuality, a vibrant sex workers’ movement, female politicians holding the reins of state and national governments, expanding markets, and horrific violence against religious minorities, feminists have both refined and recast the scope of their analyses. Some of the most important contributions are found in scholarship on sexuality and intimate relationships, offering alternatives to standardized binary formulations of sexual desire and subjectivity. Whereas the forms and ramifications of marriage–its minimum age, its property, and status implications–have long been objects of critique in Indian feminism, recent scholarship moves the debate forward by de-centering the heterosexual couple, tracing desires and identities that flourish beyond hegemonic dictates. This special issue covers archival, ethnographic, filmic, and case law sources that underline the instability of the heterosexual couple. It presents a range of conjugalities by documenting various arrangements of procreation and household economies: from devadasi women gifted to goddesses, to lesbians who wed, to rapists who marry their victims as a means to atone for their violence. It offers scholarly and creative reflections on the place of sexuality in the formulation of gender categories, the nuclear couple, and caste differences. Drawing on the rich historical and anthropological record in India, the essays and artistic works in this issue provide an engaging set of reference points and a new politics of visibility on questions of intimacy, conjugality, and sexuality. {READ MORE as PDF }

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Naisargi N. Dave
Abundance and Loss:
Queer Intimacies in South Asia
(Review Essay)
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Lucinda Ramberg
When the Devi Is Your Husband:
Sacred Marriage and Sexual Economy in South India
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Mytheli Sreenivas
Creating Conjugal Subjects: Devadasis and the
Politics of Marriage in Colonial Madras Presidency
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Ruby Lal
The Lure of the Archive:
New Perspectives from South Asia
(Review Essay)
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Svati P. Shah
Knowing “The Unknowns”:
The Artwork of Chitra Ganesh
(Art Essay)
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Shefali Chandra
Whiteness on the Margins of Native Patriarchy: Race, Caste,
Sexuality, and the Agenda of Transnational Studies
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Sangita Gopal
Sealed with a Kiss:
Conjugality and Hindi Film Form
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Srimati Basu
Sexual Property: Staging Rape and
Marriage in Indian Law and Feminist Theory
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Creative Writing:
Minal Hajratwala
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Prathibha Nandakumar
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Mandakranta Sen
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Rajee Seth
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Cover Art:
Front Cover: Chitra Ganesh, Untitled , 2009.
Back Cover: Margit Kovács, Mermaid, 2009.

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