In its early phase, "Subaltern Studies" dealt extensively with the issue of community and violence in the context of peasant uprisings. Once the problems of peasant involvement in the modern politics of the nation were subjected to the same critical scrutiny, complexities in that relationship began to emerge. A new dimension was introduced when gender and national politics came to be taken seriously and in this volume the whole range of new issues raised by the relations between community, gender and violence are addressed. The question of women and the nation, especially among minorities, features strongly in this work. Qadri Ismail examines the claims of Tamil nationalism in Sri Lanka from the standpoint of the Southern Tamil woman; Aamir Mufti looks not at the familiar gendered figure of the nation as mother but, from the standpoint of the rejected minority, at the brutalized prostitute; while Tejaswini Niranjana writes on the "new woman" in contemporary Indian cinema.
Further chapters look at women and minorities in the context of the law: Flavia Agnes examines the colonial and nationalist histories of the Hindu law of marriage and women's property, Nivedita Menon critically reviews the Indian debate over the universal civil code, and David Scott discusses, with an eye to Sri Lanka, the concept of minority rights within modern theories of citizenship. The issue of violence is taken up by Satish Deshpande in his study of the imagined space within which the new Hindu Right seeks to assert its dominance, and by Pradeep Jeganathan in his exploration of violence in the cultivation of masculinity. In her conclusion, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak considers the position within a globalized economic space of the "new subaltern" - the Third World labouring woman.
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Columbia University Press
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Author Biography - Partha Chatterjee
Partha Chatterjee, founding member of the Subaltern Studies editorial collective, is director of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, and visiting professor of anthropology at Columbia University. His books include The Nation and Its Fragments and Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World.Pradeep Jeganathan is McKnight Land-Grant Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Institute of Global Studies at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.