EVENT Jul 01
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Reimagining #MeToo in South Asia And the Diaspora (Edited Collection of Essays)

Categories: Gender & Sexuality, Literary Theory, Women's Studies
Event Date: 2022-07-01 Abstract Due: 2022-07-01
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This edited volume seeks to examine how sexual violence and feminist interventions in South Asia and the Diaspora have been articulated in the context of but, more importantly, in opposition to the #MeToo Movement. We seek to understand how the feminist movement has radically diverged from the assimilationist discourse of the #MeToo Movement and, consequently, the Global North. The #MeToo movement has not made an impact at the grassroots level because it is hinged on the victim-survivor to speak up. In an era where the Global North has been a model for influencing change in the Global South, there has been an inconspicuous absence of recognition and impact of the #MeToo Movement. In addition, survivors’ testimonies lie at the center of the #MeToo movement, which demystifies victim-shaming and victim-blaming, legitimizing the survivor’s testimony as the unquestionable truth.

Since 2017, the #MeToo movement has been successful in the conviction of Harvey Weinstein, who was at the center of the landmark trial. The #MeToo has had a significant impact worldwide on how we understand sexual harassment, rape, and gendered violence, especially in the US. However, this global women’s movement has had little reach in South Asia, where access to virtual platforms is limited, and hashtags are still unknown. The #MeToo Movement in South Asia and the Diaspora was taken up briefly by the media and entertainment industry but has failed to make a concrete impact in many ways. This can be attributed to multiple reasons - there are several regionally specific movements, such as the 2009 Pink Chaddi Campaign and 2011 #WhyLoiter campaign, that have been radically popular within the sub-continent. 

In the South Asian context, such testimonies are still taboo, which leads to survivors refusing to share and relive their experiences/narratives even if they have the means and access. Therefore, our edited volume seeks to problematize the #MeToo movement in order to reimagine and contextualize it in South Asia and the South Asian diaspora as a much-needed intervention to examine the implications of a transnational feminist movement. We wish to explore questions such as: how the #MeToo movement can move away from Hollywood/Bollywood/workplace and elitist exclusivity. How can it be more inclusive of non-white and marginalized voices?

In light of the ongoing and increasing gender-based violence occurring in South Asia and the diaspora, our edited volume will reflect on these questions as we seek to understand new ways of formulating complex and nuanced gendered subjectivities vis-à-vis the lens of post-colonial feminism and intersectionality. Our focus shifts away from the traditional approaches of victimization to generate dialogue and hopefully create a new platform to break the silence and encourage discomforting narratives to normalize conversations surrounding this pivotal issue. 

Themes include but are not limited to the following: 

Pedagogy and Transformative Learning via #MeToo in the Classroom 
Queer/LGBTQI+ Spaces within #MeToo 
New Masculinities 
Contemporary Gender Movements and Resistances 
Caste, Gender, Class, and Social Spaces 
Problematization of #MeToo and ‘Speaking Up’ 
New Modalities of Testimonies 
Resistance and Digital Feminist Interventions 
New Feminist Mediations 
Militarized Feminist Modernities  
Viral Videos 
Censorship, Cultural Production, and Minority Literature 
Mythologies, Legends, and Sexuality 

We welcome informal queries, and potential contributors may submit a 500-750 word abstract and 2 page CV by July 1, 2022. Please direct queries to Dr Nidhi Shrivastava (Sacred Heart University), shrivastavan@sacredheart.edu, Dr Ruma Sinha (Syracuse University), rumas1@gmail.com, and Dr Billie T. Guarino (Jamia Milia Islamia), thoidingjam@gmail.com. Acceptance of the final articles is subject to double-blind peer review. The final deadline for submitting 5,000- 6,000-word articles will be November 15, 2022. 



Nidhi Shrivastava