Embodied Violence: Communalising Female Sexuality in South Asia

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Bloomsbury Academic, 1996 - 299 pages
This book is a major investigation into the myriad of ways in which societies play out the struggle for cultural identity on women's bodies. It explores the relationship between ideals of motherhood, tradition, community and racial purity and uncovers the ways in which women's bodies become the recording surface of repressive cultural practices and 'symbolic' humiliations. The distinguished cast of contributors explore a wide range of issues ranging from the status of women as bargaining counters of national identity in India after independence and partition to the presence of women as an empowered presence in Hindu nationalism, from the legal definition and legitimation of sexual violence to the relationship between an idealised nationalist femininity and the tourist trade in Sri Lanka. This is an essential book for anyone exploring contemporary debates around feminism and post-colonial theory in South Asia.

From inside the book


Rape and the Construction of Communal Identity
Ethnicity and the Empowerment of Women
Notes on Contributors

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About the author (1996)

Kumari Jayawardena taught Political Science at the University of Colombo, 1969-1985, when she retired as Associate Professor. During the years 1980-82, she taught at the Institute of Social Studies at the Hague, and was an Affiliate Fellow at the Bunting Institute, Radcliffe College, USA in 1987-88. She is currently a Senior Fellow of the Graduate Studies Institute of Colombo University. She also serves as Secretary of the Social Scientists' Association, a group of concerned scholars working on ethnic, gender, caste and other issues. Her books include: The Rise of the Labor Movement in Ceylon(Duke University Press, 1972) Ethnic and Class Conflicts in Ceylon (1985) Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World (Zed Books, 1986) The White Woman's Other Burden: Western Women and South Asia during British Rule (Routledge, 1995). Embodied Violence: Communalising Women's Sexuality in South Asia (coedited) (Zed Books and Kali for Women, 1998).

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