ConvenorsMaria Framke - Universität Erfurt
Anshu Saluja - Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi
Fritzi-Marie Titzmann - Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Aastha Tyagi - Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
In colonial as well as postcolonial South Asia, women have always been involved, and made important, yet often less-recognised and invisibilised, contributions to politico-ideological movements, campaigns and protests. Recent scholarship on different social and political movements has drawn attention to the changing forms of gendered participation in a fast-transforming world. We see this reflected in diverse contexts—demonstrations on climate change, students’ activism in universities, farmers’ protests, and right-wing and nationalist movements. Not only have the ways in which women participate and become active in popular campaigns changed significantly with time, but their changing modes of activism have also reshaped these campaigns.
This panel explores different forms of women’s activism in South Asia from the 1920s up to the present through diverse interdisciplinary approaches that may include history, politics, subaltern studies, gender and media studies, art history, among others. We enquire how women are (re)fashioning the ways in which different movements mobilise, organise, reconfigure ideological discourses and even produce violent strategies to achieve their goals. Further, we interrogate how women’s modes of participation are changing, and how this change is getting reflected in the manner in which they participate in and lead these movements.
This panel pays special attention to transregional and global entanglements of women’s engagement. Ideologies, movements, and forms of solidarity have developed across borders and helped to forge new global alliances, while also fostering a fundamental critique and strong positioning vis-à-vis the “West”. Unsurprisingly, narratives of contemporary political engagement, thus, feature references to historical repertoires as well as global interlinkages. Alongside, we also see how women are leading religious-nationalist discourses, undercutting these very solidarities, thereby forcing us to confront newer and different forms of violence and exclusions.
The panel invites contributions which unpack women’s roles and activism in historical and contemporary politico-ideological movements in South Asia, and examines the ways in which they are changing modes of political engagement through their participation.