The Gender of Caste: Representing Dalits in Print

Hardcover | March 4, 2016

byCharu Gupta

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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.

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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 colonia...

Charu Gupta is associate professor of history at the University of Delhi. She is the author of Sexuality, Obscenity, Community: Women, Muslims, and the Hindu Public in Colonial India and editor of Gendering Colonial India: Reforms, Print, Caste, and Communalism.

other books by Charu Gupta

Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:March 4, 2016Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295995645

ISBN - 13:9780295995649

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Once again, Gupta has crafted a meticulous and groundbreaking contribution to the social and cultural history of the Hindi-medium public sphere. Through insightful analysis of a remarkable range of early print sources, including words and images, she chronicles both the changing depiction of Dalits and especially of Dalit women—as vamps and victims, as gullible converts and heroic martyrs—as well as Dalit responses and resistance to such representations. The result is a fine-grained study of ‘othering’ that sheds new light on the multiple selves that it seeks to define and defend. - Philip Lutgendorf, author of Hanuman’s Tale: The Messages of a Divine Monkey