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

Indira ChowdhurySubscribe to Indira Chowdhury

Mirrored Voices

A tête-à-tête with a 95-year-old Nepali cultural historian endows the experiences of both narrator and interviewee with new meaning and shared connections.

Oral Traditions and Contemporary History

Oral history raises questions about the relationship between subjectivity and history – particularly the role memory plays in understanding what historical events mean to human subjects who experience them. Beginning its investigation with a performance and painting tradition that is still living, this article asks in what ways oral traditions – songs and performances – can be used as resources to understand the relationship between history and memory. It demonstrates the ways in which oral tradition and oral history might converge and map out a distinct relationship between experience and memory, and thus point towards a different understanding of events and their interpretations.

Speaking of the Past

This collection of five papers presents some key issues in understanding oral history, not only as a resource but also as an interpretative apparatus that opens up new ways of understanding the past. The range of work included here presents insights into the role played by memory, language and politics within oral history scholarship. Is it possible that these insights can encourage thinking in a new direction that takes orality, oral traditions and oral history seriously, and forms the first steps towards a new discipline?

Rethinking Motherhood, Reclaiming a Politics-A Reading of Ashapurna Debi s Pratham Pratisruti

A Reading of Ashapurna Debi's Pratham Pratisruti Indira Chowdhury How did women writing in the decades that followed the process of social reorganisation of the 1950s took back at their past? How did they problematise their particular present? The theme of maternity, it is argued here, is an important way in which to comprehend the complex negotiations involved in interrogating the role envisaged for women in independent India. Ashapurna Debits trilogy, the first of which was written in this period, telling the story of three generations of women, sees the 19th century as the originary moment for the for/nation of women as subjects of their own discourses. However, it is precisely Ashapurna Debi's location in the 20th century and in the post-independent Indian state that compels her to frame the problem in ways that challenge colonial, reformist and nationalist notions of maternity.
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