Archive for the ‘Identity’ Category

Presented at conference organized by  Department of English (Delhi University)  February 14, 2011. The title of the  conference was “Postfeminist Postmortems?  Gender, Sexualities and Multiple  Modernities”.

Cross-posted on kafila

To paraphrase Anthony Appiah’s famous and oft-quoted question – Is the post of postfeminist the post of postmortem? That is, as in postmortem, does “post” mean definitively over, after, having transcended, gone beyond? To those who would answer “yes”, those privileged young women who float through their empowered lives in the wake of over a century of feminist struggles but disown their own heritage, to them I can only say – I’ll be a post-feminist in post-patriarchy. Or – not for a long time yet, baby.

But my answer to that question is “no”. I understand the post of postfeminism in the sense that Laclau and Mouffe understand their postmarxism. That is, post-feminist as indicating “having passed through” that body of thought; having lived through, experienced, feminist theory and politics in such a way that the terrain one now inhabits has been decisively transformed; but alsopost-feminist in the sense that in the course of this passage new objects have been configured that the old feminism could not have seen, or recognized.

It is in this kind of postfeminist moment that I locate my presentation today.

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Published in International Socialist Journal, UK

India today

Issue: 118
Posted: 31 March 08

Nivedita Menon and Aditya Nigam, Power and Contestation: India Since 1989 (Zed, 2007), £12.99

This book, written by two academics who are also campaigners, offers the best survey of recent Indian history that I have seen.

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By Aditya Nigam

Introduction

This paper is as much about the postcolonial world as it is about marxism. More importantly, it is about the relationship about the two. I use the term ‘postcolonial’ here to refer to something more than a mere temporal marker – as more than something that comes after the end of colonialism. Rather, it refers to the entire region of the Three Continents (Abdel-Malik 1981) since the beginning of its encounter with colonialism, and through it, their encounter with modernity; it therefore points towards a whole range of conditions that mark it out as distinct from the first world – political, economic, psychological and cultural. If colonialism was the dominant agent of modernity in these societies, it was certainly no the only one. A certain marxism, particularly after the Russian revolution of 1917, became a potent force through which the emancipatory ideals of the secular-modern imagination entered this world. And yet there remains a continuous tension between the high discourse of modernity entailed in it and the existential situation of this world, which becomes complicated by the day.

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