Professor — Ph.D., 1972, University of Pennsylvania
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Phone: 512-475-7214
- Office: GAR 3.118
- Office Hours: MW 1:30 - 3 p.m.
- Campus Mail Code: B7000
19th and 20th century history of India, including religion and politics, intellectual and social history, and women's movements.
Her major teaching fields are the history of India, Islam in South Asia, and women in Asia.
Professor Minault is the author of The Khilafat Movement: Religious Symbolism and Political Mobilization in India (1982). She edited The Extended Family: Women and Political Participation in India and Pakistan(1981) and co-edited Separate Worlds: Studies of Purdah in South Asia(1982) and Abul Kalan Azad: A Religious and Intellectual Biography (1988). She has also translated Voices of Silence (1986). Her latest work isSecluded Scholars: Women's Education and Muslim Reform in Colonial India (1997).
WGS 340 • Women In S Asian Societies-W
MW 300pm-430pm GAR 2.128
(also listed as
ANS 361, HIS 350L, ISL 372 )
Women in South Asian Societies
His 350L/ANS 361/WGS 340/ISL 371
GAR 2. 128
Geraldine Forbes, Women in Modern India
Kumkum Sangari & Sudesh Vaid, eds., Recasting Women: Essays in Colonial History
Ritu Menon & Kamla Bhasin, Borders and Boundaries
Syeda Hameed, ed., They Hang: 12 Women in My Portrait Gallery
One of the following:
Sara Suleri, Meatless Days
Meena Alexander, Fault Lines (new edn.)
Women in South Asian Societies is an interdisciplinary seminar that will deal with the history, social and political roles, and contemporary problems of women in South Asia. We will study the changes that have occurred in women's lives as a result of historical forces in the 19th and 20th centuries: colonialism, social and religious reform movements, and the roles of women in the movement for independence from colonial rule and partition. We will also attempt to assess the status and roles of women in contemporary South Asian societies, with special emphasis on women's struggles for economic and legal rights, and the problem of violence toward women. Secondary readings will be supplemented occasionally with the testimony of women themselves. Indeed, many of the books for the course combine a variety of sources, and we will have ample discussion concerning the different viewpoints represented.
Requirements for the course include the required readings, which we will discuss in class, and several writing assignments of different lengths (see below). For each class there will be readings from the texts and occasional supplemental readings, either in the form of handouts, or on e-reserve. For each class, a student will be designated discussion leader. The discussions leaders will pose questions, call on people, try to get the quiet ones to speak up, and summarize the points discussed. S/he will then write up a (brilliant and pithy) short report on the readings and the discussion, to be handed in one week later. If you are the designated leader, it goes without saying that you must_ come to class that day. I expect those _not_ designated leaders for the day (a) to have done the readings and (b) to participate in the discussion. Non-discussants will also write up short response papers every week on the readings. See a separate sheet for details on the writing assignments and discussion techniques.
The writing assignments include a book report of approx. 6 pp. on one of the choice of autobiographies listed above, due *Oct. 5*; and a research paper of approx. 15 pp. that will be due on *Dec. 4*. The latter can be on any topic covered in the class that appeals to you or about which you would like to know more. I would like to know your topic by *Oct. 28* so that we can discuss bibliography, and then have your preliminary bibliography by *Nov. 4*. Each student will have to present her research topic in class during the last few weeks of the course. For fuller details on the writing assignments, see a separate sheet. Percentages for the grade: class participation 10%, discussion leading and report 15%, response papers (collectively) 15 %, book report 20%, research paper, including oral presentation 40%.
*Attendance*: I will take attendance in this class, and any more than *three* absences will be cause for lowering your grade. Seminars thrive on discussion and the only way to have good discussions is for everyone to turn up and participate. On the other hand, if you come down with swine flu, stay home. Get a note from the Student Health Center or your doctor to receive a medical excuse.
I hope that, from our discussions in class, we will get to know one another, but I also enjoy meeting my students personally and urge you to visit my office at least once during the semester. My office is Garrison 3.118, and my office hours are MW 1:30-3, or by appointment on Fridays, 1:30-3. Office phone 475-7214. Please do not call me at home, email instead: firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Outline and Reading Assignments
Aug. 26 - Introduction to the Course
Aug. 31 - Indian Women in Myth, Epic, and Religious Thought
Read: Kumkum Roy, "The King's Household: Structure and Space in the Shastric Tradition," from Sangari & Chakravarti, eds. From Myths to Markets. pp. 18-38 (e-reserve).
Tales of Ancient India, excerpts (hand out, also e-reserves).
Sept. 2 & 9 - Indian Women in the Traditional Indian Family (Urban)
*Note*: Sept. 7 - Labor Day Holiday
Read for 9/2: Sangari & Vaid, "Introduction;" to Sangari & Vaid, Recasting, pp. 1-25.
Tanika Sarkar, "A Book of Her Own, A Life of Her Own," from Sangari & Chakravarti, Myths to Markets, pp. 85-124 (e-reserve).
For 9/9: Gail Minault, Secluded Scholars, ch. I, pp. 14-57 (e-reserve).
Sept. 14-16 - Indian Women in the Traditional Indian Family (Rural)
Film on 9/14: "Dadi's Family." Discussion of film
Read for 9/16: Prem Chowdhry, "Customs in a Peasant Economy," in Sangari & Vaid, pp. 302-37 (see next p. for more).
Helen Gideon, "A Baby is Born in the Punjab," Amn. Anthropologist, 64/6 (Dec. 1962): 1220-1234. (e-reserve).
Doranne Jacobson, "Purdah: Life Behind the Veil," Natl. Geographic, 152/2 (Aug. 1977): 270-286 (e-reserve).
Sept. 21-23 - Women in 19th Century India: Colonial Debates over Women's Status and Reform
Read for 9/21: Geraldine Forbes, Women in Modern India, pp. 1-31.
for 9/23: Lata Mani, "Contentious Traditions," in Sangari and Vaid, Recasting, pp. 88-126, and
Ram Mohan Roy, "In Defense of Hindu Women" (e-reserve).
Sept. 28-30 - Women in Colonial India: Debates over Education
Read for 9/28: Forbes, Women, pp. 32-63.
Sumanta Banerjee, "Marginalization of Women's Popular Culture in 19th Century Bengal," Recasting, pp. 127-179.
Read for 9/30: Gail Minault, Secluded Scholars, pp. 58-104 (e-reserve).
Oct. 5-7 - Women and the Press: Writings for and by Women
*1st paper due Oct. 5 *(see separate sheet for details).
Read for 10/5: Vir Talwar, "Feminist Consciousness in Women's Journals in
Hindi,"Recasting, pp. 204-232.
Read for 10/7: Minault, Secluded, pp. 105-157 (e-reserve).
Oct. 12-14 - Early Women's Movements
Read for 10/12: Forbes, Women, pp. 64-120.
Partha Chatterjee, "The Nationalist Resolution of the Women's Question," Recasting, pp. 233-53.
Read for 10/14: Minault, Secluded, pp. 215-266 (e-reserve).
Oct. 19-21 - Women and Nationalism
Read for 10/19: Forbes, Women, pp. 121-56, 189-222.
Read for 10/21: Minault, pp. 267-308 (e-reserve).
Oct. 26-28 - Women, Independence and Partition
*Note:* Research topics due Oct. 28.
Read for 10/26: Forbes, Women, pp. 223-254.
Readfor 10/28: Ritu Menon & Kamla Bhasin, Borders and Boundaries, pp. 3-165.
Nov. 2-4 - Working Women in Colonial and Post-Colonial India
*Note*: Preliminary bibliographies due Nov. 4
Read for 11/2: Forbes, Women, pp. 157-88.
Nirmala Banerjee, "Working Women in Colonial Bengal," in Recasting, pp. 269-301.
Read for 11/4: Vasanta Kanabiran & K. Lalitha, "That Magic Time," in Recasting, pp. 180-203.
Nov. 9-11 - Women and Violence
Read for 11/9: Menon & Bhasin, Borders, pp. 168-260.
Read for 11/11: Hameed, They Hang.
Nov. 16-18, 23, 25, and 30: Students' presentations of research projects; final
discussion and evaluation.
Dec. 2: Class party at my home (12/2); time TBA.
*Research papers due, Dec. 4.