Uniform TitleWomen resisting violence: locating community in contemporary novels from the Americas and South Asia
NameSubramanian, Shreerekha (author), Braga-Pinto, Cesar (chair), Busia, Abena (internal member), Sifuentes-Jauregui, Ben (internal member), Vettori, Alessandro (internal member), Perera, Sonali (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School-New Brunswick,
Women in literature,
Garg, Mridula, 1938-,
Danticat, Edwidge, 1969-
DescriptionHow do we read the novel as a record of the ways in which communities recuperate from violence? How is resistance to violence possible through the act of narration? This project focuses on select contemporary novels in which women characters resist violence and redefine notions of community by imagining bonds with the dead, the exiled, and the disempowered.
The inscription of state and family on women's bodies is a prominent theme in the textual analysis framed by this study. It draws within its scope novels from the Americas and South Asia that explicitly address violence committed in the name of territoriality, religious orthodoxy and racial supremacy. The novels from the Americas reflect on violence against marginalized people as a public spectacle instrumentalized and sanctioned by law. The South Asian novels direct our attention to the more intimate confines of the domestic sphere, where law oppresses the dispossessed through the filial figure of the patriarch. Read together, these disparate texts alert us to the fundamental importance of the novel as a discourse of resistance to iniquity, as a theory of recovery from human loss.
The earlier chapters study novels from the Americas like Toni Morrison's Paradise and Edwidge Danticat's The Farming of Bones while the later chapters focus on the South Asian novels read in Hindi like Mridula Garg's Kathgulab and Tahmina Durrani's Kufr. My dissertation emphasizes remembering, recalling and retelling stories of lost lives as a powerful mode of resistance and dwells on the place of imagined communities with the dead in these texts. The critical research focus is on ingenious ways in which women-characters in novels restore dignity and agency to their kin and beloved by experimenting with voice and narrative techniques within the novel. The resilience of the women characters is a transcendent force which makes it possible to resist the domestic patriarch as well as injustices perpetrated in the name of law and state.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 299-312).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.