Date: 14th October, 2014
Speaker: Ayesha Kidwai
Professor, Centre for Linguistics, JNU.
Title: "Are we women not citizens?" Mridula Sarabhai's Social workers and the recovery of Abducted Women.
Abstract: In this talk, Kidwai argues for a re-examination of the by-now standard conclusion that Mridula Sarabhai and her social workers' efforts and intentions in the recovery of women abducted under the Abducted Persons (Recovery and Rehabilitation) Ordinances and Act, in force till 1957, were in consonance with those of the patriarchal State. Using the newspaper archive from the period, she shall contend that the perception that the 'recovery' operation signalled, in the words of Das (1995), "an alliance between the state and social work as a profession" to be a reading that occludes the complexities of the past and the internal history of the close to decade long recovery operation.
Date: 21st October, 2014
Speaker: Trina Nileena Banerjee
Assistant Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta.
Title: Performing the Limits of Shame: Female Nudity, Respectability and the Sacred in Manipuri Performance.
Abstract: This paper seeks to examine two instances of performance of shame in contemporary Manipur. Veteran actress Sabitri Heisnam appears in the nude on stage in protest against her rapists during the climax of Manipuri director H. Kanhailal's play "Draupadi" (2001). Three years later, in July 2004, a group of Manipuri women stripped naked in front of the Western Gate of Kangla fort in Imphal, to protest the brutal rape and death of Thangjam Manorama, a 34-year-old suspected insurgent. From the evidence gathered on the field so far, it is fairly certain that the individual activists at Kangla were not aware of the existence of "Draupadi",the play. The paper seeks to examine this apparent paradox: the differential configurations/receptions of nudity within these strangely reverberating theatrical and political events in contemporary Manipur.
Date: 28th October, 2014
Speaker: Navaneetha Mokkil
Assistant Professor, Centre for Women's Studies, JNU.
Title: Living Together, Dying Together: The Lesbian as a Political Subject.
Abstract:This paper will analyze the political mobilization on "lesbian suicides" from late 1990s in Kerala. Analyzing activist documentation on lesbian suicides, this paper seeks to pursue the questions: What does it mean to produce a discourse around lesbian sexuality that has at its centre the event of suicide and the specters of women whose lives could have been saved? What is the impetus behind the recording of the lives of two women who are beyond the pale of any politics? What are the narrative tropes through which the lesbian as a figure surfaces in the public sphere of post-1990s Kerala? The analysis straddles a close reading of the form and content of the oral narratives and a meta-critical analysis of the politics of conducting and publishing these interviews.