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作者 Jha, Priya
書名 To incarnate India: Gender, sexuality, and the making of national culture
國際標準書號 9780493338194
book jacket
說明 233 p
附註 Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 62-08, Section: A, page: 2752
Directors: Jeffrey Cox; Adeleke Adeeko
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Colorado at Boulder, 2001
My dissertation begins with a simple question: how does "India," historically a complex of varying political, ethnic, language and territorial units, come to see itself as a nation within the current world community of nations. I argue that culture plays a vital role in creating an image that might come to incarnate India when on the ground India appears always to escape being given a territorial, ethnic, religious, political body. I am particularly interested in the ways in which the figure of "Mother India," grounded in Hindu tradition, is deployed in colonial and postcolonial contexts as a way of creating specific imagined Indias to meet the needs of particular interests at particular times. I see her as an interstitial figure that becomes the site where the battles between tradition and modernity, colonial power and indigenous identity, postcoloniality and neocoloniality are fought as part of Indian independence struggles
Of course, any such concrete image excludes as well as includes, masks as well as reveals the complexities it seeks to shape, and as we move further into a postcolonial and perhaps postmodern context, any such gendered image of the nation becomes increasingly difficult to sustain, as the abstractly gendered nation is confronted with concretely sexualized incarnations. By looking at the praxis of representation in Indian cultures globally, my dissertation situates the "paradox of the woman's question" in (post)colonial nationalist production and reproduction, and it demonstrates that this problematic is symptomatic of India's desire to write for itself a history as it imagines itself as a citizen geopolitically. This interdisciplinary project analyzes four cultural sites at which the transhistorical trope of Mother India becomes the conduit for the transmission of Indian national culture: prose portraits of India such as those penned by authors Katherine Mayo, Nayantara Sahgal, and Mahasweta Devi; key films such as Mother India; the Hindi film industry in Bombay (Bollywood) as it comes to stand for India and the world as the most obvious embodiment of a national culture; and popular Indian figures such as film actress Nargis, Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, and actor and politician, Amitabh Bachchan, who at times appear to be literal incarnations of India
Overall, my dissertation examines the socio-political modes of cultural production that give birth to and locate the various incarnations of Mother India as a way of solidifying particular political agencies within (post)colonial India. In the detailed analyses of a transhistorical trope for national consensus building, I seek to unravel the historical ties that bind Mother India to a brand of Indian history that locates her in a purely Hindu mythological realm. I pose questions about the contentious role of women within the course of uneven development in India that privileges the hetero-patriarchal structure in its haste to join the global economy. I argue that, ultimately, constituting the postcolonial nation-state in this exclusive manner constrains the processes of decolonization that are necessary for a full and true claim to national citizenship
School code: 0051
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 62-08A
主題 Literature, Comparative
Literature, Asian
Anthropology, Cultural
Women's Studies
Alt Author University of Colorado at Boulder
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