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Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval, and Modern India - Mandakranta Bose

Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval, and Modern India

By: Mandakranta Bose (Editor)

Hardcover

Published: 1st June 1999
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This book offers a variety of scholarly studies in the idea, situation, and definition-including the self-definition-of women in India, from the earliest historical period up to the present day. Both in its range of topics and depth of research, this volume creates a sustained focus that is not presently available in the literature of women in India.
Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval, and Modern India comprises 25 essays contributed by a diverse mix of Indian, Canadian, American, and British women scholars, most of whom have lived in South Asia either for all of their lives or for extended periods. Arranged chronologically, these groundbreaking essays set aside the myths and prejudices that often clutter discussions about women in India. Part I, which is dedicated to the ancient period, defines women's positions as depicted in the sacred law, considers subordinated women in major Hindu epics, describes women's roles in ritual and their understanding of religion, and examines the patriarchal organization of women's lives in Buddhism. Part II begins with an essay on Tantra, a major force in medieval India that influenced both Hinduism and Buddhism and placed women at the center of its sacred rites. Other essays in Part II look at the life and legends of a medieval woman saint poet, the portrayal of a Hindu goddess in medieval Bengal, and the role of women from Mughal harems in decision making. Part III describes the colonial perception of Indian women in the late nineteenth century and shows how women's self-perceptions have been expressed through their art and writing as well as through their political action in the twentieth century.
Providing informed and balanced analysis of extensive primary source material, this book will be an essential resource for students of women's lives in India.

"Fascinating collection of essays....Bose's collection of essays is of great value to those studying gender and South Asia, because it offers a historical view from differing female perspectives....This is a wonderful book."--Middle East and South Asia Folklore Bulletin State "Someone has defined a good book as one to which one returns repeatedly once in has been encountered. [Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval, and Modern India] is such a book."--Journal of the American Oriental Society "Fascinating collection of essays....Bose's collection of essays is of great value to those studying gender and South Asia, because it offers a historical view from differing female perspectives....This is a wonderful book."--Middle East and South Asia Folklore Bulletin (

Prefacep. vii
Notesp. xii
Referencesp. xii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Contributorsp. xix
Visions of Virtuep. 3
Notesp. 5
A Controversy Over a Verse on the Remarriage of Hindu Womenp. 7
Notesp. 16
Referencesp. 19
Satī: The Event and the Ideologyp. 21
Notesp. 30
Referencesp. 31
Satyavatī: The Matriarch of the Mahābhāratap. 33
Notesp. 46
Referencesp. 47
Usable Women: The Tales of Amba and Mādhavīp. 48
Notesp. 54
Referencesp. 55
Anasup: A Pativratā with Panachep. 56
Notesp. 66
Referencesp. 68
""""The Wildering Gloom"""": Women's Place in Buddhist Historyp. 69
Notesp. 85
Referencesp. 85
The Goddess, Women, and Their Rituals in Hinduismp. 87
Notesp. 103
Referencesp. 105
Women and Powerp. 107
The Goddess-Women Equation in Śākta Tantrasp. 109
Notesp. 122
Referencesp. 122
Women's Wealth and Worship: Female Patronage of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism in Medieval Tamilnadup. 124
Notesp. 137
Referencesp. 144
the Goddess-Woman Nexus in Popular Religious Practice: The Cult of Manasāp. 148
Notesp. 159
Referencesp. 160
Mīrābai in the Academy and the Politics of Identityp. 162
Notesp. 177
Referencesp. 179
Candrāvatī Rāmāya&nbdot;a: Feminizing the Rāma-Talep. 183
Notesp. 190
Referencesp. 191
Women Saints in Medieval Maharashtrap. 192
Referencesp. 199
Notesp. 199
Powers Behind the Throne: Women in Early Mughal Politicsp. 201
Notesp. 210
Referencesp. 211
Emerging Voicesp. 213
Notesp. 216
Referencesp. 217
for Our Native Sisters: The Wesleyan Ladies' Auxiliary in Indiap. 219
Notesp. 231
Referencesp. 232
Flora Annie Steel: A Voice for Indian Women?p. 234
Notesp. 247
Referencesp. 249
Exploring Tradition and Change Among Women in Marathi Culturep. 251
Notep. 269
Referencesp. 269
the Construction of Gender in History and Religion: The Sikh Casep. 270
Notesp. 279
Referencesp. 284
Postcolonial Identity as Feminist Fantasy: A Study of Tamil Women's Short Fiction on Dowryp. 287
Notesp. 295
Referencesp. 295
Eroticism and the Woman Writer in Bengali Culturep. 297
Notesp. 302
Women in Radical Movements in Bengal in the 1940s: The Story of the Mahilā ātmarak&sadot;ā Samiti (women's Self-Defense League)p. 304
Notesp. 317
Referencesp. 319
the Feminist Movement in West Bengal: From the 1980s to the 1990sp. 322
Indexp. 335
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195122299
ISBN-10: 0195122291
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 1st June 1999
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.75 x 16.1  x 3.05
Weight (kg): 0.7