The Gender of Caste
Representing Dalits in Print
Global South Asia
Published by: University of Washington Press
352 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 33 illus.
- ISBN: 9780295744223
- Published: October 2018
Caste and gender are complex markers of difference that have traditionally been addressed in isolation from each other, with a presumptive maleness present in most studies of Dalits (“untouchables”) and a presumptive upper-casteness in many feminist studies. In this study of the representations of Dalits in the print culture of colonial north India, Charu Gupta enters new territory by looking at images of Dalit women as both victims and vamps, the construction of Dalit masculinities, religious conversion as an alternative to entrapment in the Hindu caste system, and the plight of indentured labor.
The Gender of Caste uses print as a critical tool to examine the depictions of Dalits by colonizers, nationalists, reformers, and Dalits themselves and shows how differentials of gender were critical in structuring patterns of domination and subordination.
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction: Gendering Dalits
1. Dirty “Other” Vamp: (Mis)Representing Dalit Women
2. Paradoxes of Victimhood: Iconographies of Suffering, Sympathy, and Subservience
3. Dalit Viranganas: (En)Gendering the Dalit Reinvention of 1857
4. Feminine, Criminal, or Manly? Imaging Dalit Masculinities
5. Intimate and Embodied Desires: Religious Conversions and Dalit Women
6. Goddesses and Women’s Songs: Negotiating Dalit Popular Religion and Culture
7. Caste, Indentured Women, and the Hindi Public Sphere
Gupta adds to overall Dalit and global feminist scholarship a rich and dense analysis of texts and contexts to unpack the 'biopolitics of caste.' It is an engaging example of interdisciplinary work focused on close readings of print and popular culture representations from colonial India, including present-day representations, that construct, contest, revise, and influence narratives of gender and caste.~Veena Deo, Journal of Asian Studies
The significant impact of this book is that it has not only sharpened gender sensitivity but also heightened awareness of the immensely complex challenges of diversity management in India as a whole. . . . It will be a reference point for much future research.~Vineeth Mathoor, South Asia Research
Charu Gupta has made her contribution in the field of historical research at the intersection of gender and caste in India widely acclaimed. . . .This book serves as a timely reminder for gender scholars working on colonial India that gendering is experienced by all bodies, and hence the time has come to question the central subjectivity of women in most works.~Arpita Chakraborty, Dublin City University, Ireland, Religion and Gender