Desi Divas: Political Activism in South Asian American Cultural Performances (Hardback)Christine L. Garlough (author)
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Case study chapters address the relatively unknown history of South Asian American rhetorical performances from the early 1800s to the present. Avant-garde feminist performances by the Post Natyam dance collective appropriate women's folk practices and Hindu goddess figures make rhetorical claims about hate crimes against South Asian Americans after 9/11. In Yoni ki Bat (a South Asian American version of The Vagina Monologues) a progressive performer transforms aspects of the Mahabharata narrative to address issues of sexual violence, such as incest and rape. Throughout the volume, Garlough argues that these performers rely on calls for acknowledgment that intertwine calls for justice and care. That is, they embed their testimony in traditional cultural forms to invite interest, reflection, and connection.
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 526 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
"Christine Garlough's Desi Divas is an intelligent and sensitive examination of South Asian women using performances of acknowledgement and caring to address their cultural exploitation. By coupling ethnographic and critical methods, she offers a ground level view that captures inequalities of gender and denial of human rights and the lived practices within a non-western perspective that combat them. Her deft intersection of theory and method currently informing research in folklore, performance, and vernacular rhetoric is a timely contribution to the liveliest issues currently animating humanistic research. Garlough provides a model for interdisciplinary critical cultural scholarship and its capacity to open our view to what lies behind the gentle violence of everyday life."
--Gerard A. Hauser, College Professor Emeritus of Distinction, University of Colorado Boulder
"Christine Garlough's original scholarship and interdisciplinary approach augments feminist and drama scholarship on how political performances work towards social justice, and even social change. Such performances, argues Desi Divas, play a vital role in activist work that 'creates opportunities' in Garlough's words, 'for ethical listening and the possibility of social action on the part of diverse audiences.' Garlough effectively explores a wholly original idea: namely, the ethics and politics of care as 'a critical social practice . . . a communicative effort that encourages a sense of connection and compassion.' Desi Divas is a compelling text for scholars of Feminist Theory, Ethnic Studies, South Asian Studies, Performance Studies, and Diaspora Studies."
--Ketu H. Katrak, professor in the Department of Drama at University of California, Irvine
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