Thinking Gender, Doing Gender

Feminist Scholarship and Practice Today

Edited by Uma Chakravarti


Orient BlackSwan, Hyderabad, 2016

Language: English

330 pages

Price INR 750
Book Club Price INR 638
In the 1980s, gender was acknowledged as a useful and necessary category of analysis. The first generation of feminist scholars defined the new field and provided a rich corpus of works; later generations of scholars and activists then expanded it through their writings on culture, film and media, and sexuality. Thinking Gender, Doing Gender focuses on these issues, as well as on pedagogy and classroom practice, theoretical obstacles created by disciplinary constraints, and practices in the performing arts from a gender perspective. This volume focuses more on doing gender rather thinking gender: in classrooms, in the making of curricula, in the writing and recall of history, in reading literature and cinema, and in the practice of culture in theatre and urban spaces. Together, the essays discuss: Pedagogy: the classroom as a site for exploring caste, gender, region, language and diversity; how textbooks reflect gender ideologies and tensions between tradition / modernity; the relationship between science and gender. Countering the historical archive: recovering the everyday experiences of women and addressing silences and biases through oral history; the use of plays to forge a relationship between memory and politics, utilising personal archives to add to institutional accounts of the past. Women’s relationship to culture: representations of women in regional language writing; sex work, religion and the practice of dedication; the connections between nation, culture and gender; theatre from the nineteenth century and its complex handling of actresses. As this volume documents, doing gender holds rich possibilities for thinking about gender. Its engaging and insightful discussions make it an invaluable addition to the corpus of feminist writing, and will be useful to students and scholars of women’s studies, sociology and culture studies.

Uma Chakravarti

Uma Chakravarti is a feminist historian who taught at Miranda House, University of Delhi, from where she took early retirement in 1998. She has been associated with the women’s movement and the movement for democratic rights since the late seventies. She writes on Buddhism, early Indian history, the nineteenth century and on contemporary subjects. Among her films is Ek Inquilab Aur Aaya: Lucknow 1929–49.