Masculinity and Postcolonialism

full name / name of organization: 
Rohit K Dasgupta and Moti K Gokulsing
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Gender and colonialism have played a very important role in shaping the concept and understanding of national identity. This collection hopes to look at the impact of these two in the creation of a post colonial national identity in South Asia. Gender roles have been a part of identity and society building and their place have been a site for contesting these various societal constructs but more recently it has been integrated with a new imagined concept- that of nationalism. Looking at women's biographies in which the Partition experience is emblazoned, we see different ways in which they contravene culturally defined roles and take life into their own hands. However most recent scholarship, has focused on the woman's experience and on the category of abducted women (Das, Butalia and Panjabi).

The most neglected area of partition studies is of human suffering. Patriarchy and the image of the hyper masculine man have suppressed masculine voices and reactions during the Partition. This silencing of masculine voices and suppressed sexualities have time and again confronted us. The male body becomes a site of intimate violence and displacement (Daiya) revealing new contours of ethnic identity and citizenship. The male and female bodies have been sites of power contestation and in these commonalities there is strong basis to develop comparative analytical frames for understanding how borders and partitions continue to shape modernity and social processes in the contemporary world.

The chief research questions/themes which we will explore through this collection are
Is there a separate masculine response to violence?
How are masculine responses during the partition different from feminist responses?
Changing perceptions of masculinity and its challenges to the Indian male citizenship

We welcome explorations related (but not limited) to the following literary texts:
Rushdie's Midnights Children, Anand Prakash's 'We have arrived in Amritsar', Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan
collection of poems by Shahid Quadri, Kishwar naheed, Hyder Bux Jatoi and Faiz Ahmed Faiz etc

Partition also includes the partition along ethnic lines with the violent wars in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh so texts by Munier Choudhury and Shyam Selvadurai are also being considered.

Visual Materials:

Sunil Gupta (curated) Where Three Dreams Cross, Dan McDougall's Partition refugee project etc
Films such as Chinnamul, Naam Iruvaar, 1947 Earth, Border etc

The co-editors seek submissions (full-length manuscripts of between 5,000 and 7,000 words in Harvard style). Abstracts of 250 words along with a short bio should be sent to the editors by 15 February. After the preliminary acceptance of abstracts, contributors will be asked to submit manuscripts by 30 July 2012.

About the Editors:
Moti K Gokulsing was formerly Reader in Education and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at University of East London. He has written and co-edited several books which include Popular Culture in a Globalised India (Routledge, 2006), Softsoaping India (Trentham, 2004) Indian Popular Cinema: A Narrative of Cultural Change (Trentham, 2004), A Compact for Higher Education (Ashgate, 2001), The New Shape of University Education (Edwin Mellen Press, 2007), Usable Knowledges as the Goal of University Education (Edwin Mellen Press, 1997). He is the founder and editor of the Journal of South Asian Popular Culture (Routledge)

Rohit K Dasgupta is a PhD scholar at University of the Arts London.