ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Susan VisvanathanSubscribe to Susan Visvanathan

Revisiting Tranquebar

Tranquebar: Whose History? Transnational Cultural Heritage in a Former Danish Trading Colony in South India by Helle Jorgensen (New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan), 2014; pp 356, Rs 975. Beyond Tranquebar: Grappling Across Cultural Borders in South India edited by Esther Fihl and A R Venkatachalapathy, Orient BlackSwan, 2014; pp xiv + 625, Rs 945.

S K Rudra, C F Andrews and M K Gandhi

In the second decade of the last century, as the world limped back from a long-drawn war and India found itself on the verge of a new wave of anti-imperialist struggle, a strange friendship was forged between three unusual men. This paper looks at the friendship between Mahatma Gandhi, C F Andrews and S K Rudra against the backdrop of such tumultuous times. Through letters and records that still stand as testimony to their friendship, this paper analyses issues of freedom of choice, and implications of nationality.

Hannah Arendt and the Problem of Our Age

The moment we stop asking questions or are killed for asking them a new kind of history writing takes place. And it is here that the works of three Jewish thinkers, Hannah Arendt, Martin Buber and Simone Weil, become significant. The connecting thread between them is their struggle for freedom in circumstances which were devoid of human reason. They dealt with violence and injustice in ways which were deeply rational and humane.

Women and Work-From Housewifisation to Androgyny

From Housewifisation to Androgyny Susan Visvanathan Unlike hermaphroditism, which is a lack of physical differentiation, or bisexuality, which is a lack of clarity in gender identification, androgyny expresses a conscious interplay of masculine and feminine aspects of the individual psyche. The article attempts to understand androgyny through the works of Philomena-Marie when she is actively engaged in mobilising the Kerala fisherfolk against the encroachment of the big trawlers.

Negotiating within Patriarchy

Susan Visvanathan Women as Subjects edited by Nita Kumar; Stree and Book Review Literary Trust,
WOMEN AS SUBJECTS is a non- controversial book on the question of gender analyses in Indian ethnography. The lack of polemic makes for safe, almost familial reading. Nothing in it could ruffle functionalist sociologists with pre-conceived notions about the biases of feminism and its impact on value-neutral sociology. Women's Studies, clearly, is here to stay. This book is about the stability and order of patriarchal systems, and how women have been able to negotiate within it, find positions of power and privilege, complementary to masculine structures. The first essay by Ann Gold, and the last essay by Nita Kumar are somewhat different, however, from the other essays.

Caste, Class and Modernism

rural economy as a whole" and that poverty alleviating programmes "should not be ad hoc in nature, but should be related to long- term plans for building up a comprehensive infrastructure for rural development covering such requirements as health and education, transport and marketing, credit and research" (pp 89 and 90). But isn't that similar to what Gadgil was arguing in favour of much earlier?

Marriage, Birth and Death-Property Rights and Domestic Relationships of the Orthodox Jacobite Syrian Christians of Kerala

This paper deals with the property rights and domestic relationships of the Orthodox/Jacobite Syrian Christians of Kerala at marriage, birth and death. There is an underlying thread which links what otherwise seem disparate events in the life cycle of individuals and domestic groups.

Ritual and Symbolic Role of Women

Coloured Rice: Symbolic Structure in Hindu Family Festivals by Suzanne Hanchett, with contributions by Stanley Regelson; Hindustan Publishing Corporation, Delhi, 1988; price not stated.

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