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ABSTRACT Sep 30
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Forgotten Women: Violence, Gender, and Sexuality in South Asia (NeMLA )

Philadelphia, PA
Organization: NeMLA
Event: NeMLA
Categories: Gender & Sexuality, Women's Studies
Event Date: 2021-03-11 to 2021-03-14 Abstract Due: 2020-09-30 Submit Abstract

Since 2017, the #metoo movement has been successful for the conviction of Harvey Weinstein, who was at the center of the landmark trial. The same cannot be said in the case of India, which is still coming to terms with the issue of gender-based violence. Our panel will examine the representations of women who have been forgotten or have been rendered invisible in the national and international media discourse. Our panel will examine such representations through the study of South Asian filmic and theatre representations of Dalit (lower-caste), Northeast Indian, and women who were foundational figures in the defining the newly minted nation—India and Pakistan. Our panel will explore the following questions: How do we explore and understand the #metoo movement through the depictions of rape and gendered violence in communal, anti-caste, and minority conflicts that have happened in post-colonial India since its independence in 1947? Our central argument suggests that in order for women’s issues to come to light in contemporary times in India, it is important to turn to narratives of women who are underrepresented in the predominant culture. Through the study of a theatrical performance of Kanhailal Heisnam’s Draupadi (2000) and two feature films—Sabiha Sumar’s Khamosh Pani (2003) and Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15 (2019). We ask the following questions: Can suicide be considered an empowering act as proposed by the film writer Paromita Vohra in Indo-Pakistani film, Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters; 2003)? Inspired by the 2014 Badaun rape case, Article 15 seeks to explore the ramifications of the state-sanctioned violence on the raped bodies of Dalit girls. Why are there inadequate representations of raped Dalit women in the national and international consciousness? Finally, through Drapaudi, we ask that, in spite of the focus on the rape crisis in India, why are the feminist movements of Northeast India not given recognition? Through these questions, we argue that there are indeed limitations of the #metoo movement that are underrepresented and understudied in the mainstream discourse on rape and sexuality.

Our panel will examine the representations of women who have been forgotten or have been rendered invisible in the national and international media discourse. Our panel will examine such representations through the study of South Asian filmic and theatre representations of Dalit (lower-caste), Northeast Indian, and women who were foundational figures in the defining the newly minted nation—India and Pakistan. How do we explore and understand the #metoo movement through the depictions of rape and gendered violence in communal, anti-caste, and minority conflicts that have happened in post-colonial India since its independence in 1947?

https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/18703

nshrivas@uwo.ca

Nidhi Shrivastava