Monthly Archives: January 2012

CFP: Caste, Gender and Sexuality in Asia

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Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific
Issue 33

Call for Contributions on Caste, Gender and Sexuality in Asia

For centuries now, caste system has been one of the most influential and deciding factors as a pattern of social stratification and segregation in most of the Asian countries. The system is so deeply rooted that each and every aspect of human life in these societies is affected and shaped by it. Each caste in the hierarchy comes up with its own social and cultural norms for the members of its community. Women are the most vulnerable and the worst affected members of the caste based societies. While women in general suffer internal oppression and gender bias, women of the casteist societies bear the multiple burdens of their caste, class, religion, region and work apart from gender discrimination. Moreover caste not only prescribes the roles but also assigns duties and responsibilities and prescribes food, dress and other codes of conduct for people, especially women. In a similar manner is constructed the male gender with different set of roles and responsibilities. The sexuality of genders is also defined and decided according to the caste hierarchy. In some contexts, certain genders and gender roles are forcibly thrust on people to perform certain roles depending on their caste and vulnerability to exploitation. In recent times, these societies are transforming gradually owing to political, cultural, economic and social developments. In this context, caste and gender have become some of the most important concepts of the social and cultural discourse. While on one hand there are efforts on for casteless societies, on the other hand assertion of caste identities is also becoming a crucial strategy of resistance against caste and gender hegemony. We look forward to discuss the following issues in INTERSECTIONS:

  • How does caste system contribute to the construction of gender roles and sexuality?
  • How do the narratives of gender oppression debate framework of caste and vice-versa?
  • How do the rewritings, retellings and translations of classical/canonical texts write alternative histories from gender and caste perspectives?
  • How does oral tradition construct or deconstruct caste, gender and sexuality?
  • How are the creative representations of sexuality influenced by notions of caste and gender?
  • How do the various movements and voices centered on caste and gender intersect or conflict in changing societies?
  • How are politics and governing influenced by caste and gender?
  • How have the developments like globalization, liberalization and English education influenced the categories of caste and gender?
  • What is the role of religions in shaping the gender and conversion in caste-ridden societies where both caste and religion define gender and sexuality?
  • How does the postcolonial debate function in terms of caste and gender?

These and any other questions related to caste, gender and sexuality are welcome to be discussed.

The online nature of the journal allows for added flexibility in including images, video clips, and other supplemental materials.

Deadline for submissions: 1 March 2012

Go here for submission details.


A poem by Surjit Paatar

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Candles

Light these candles.
Rise, light these candles.
There will remain,
These quarrelsome winds,
But you should light these candles.

May darkness not think the moon scared.
May night not think the sun dead.
Light these lamps to honor life.
Rise, light these candles.

Granted, the night’s reign may be stubborn,
But rays of light still survive.
On dark pages, verses revealing life.
Rise, light these candles.

These cruel whirlwinds will remain,
The fall will shake away the leaves,
But this does not mean that new leaves will not grow.
Rise, light these candles.

Unafraid of the poison that spreads daily in the wind,
Nature continues to do its duty,
Of transforming poison into nectar.
Rise, light these candles.

Girls, do not cry, this is the time of Rahiras.
Do not linger on death, reflect upon the passage of time.
These difficulties will pass away.
Rise, light these candles.

 

Translation Courtesy: Wikipedia