Caste and gender are complex markers of difference that have traditionally been addressed in isolation from each other, with a presumptive maleness present in most studies of Dalits ( untouchables ) and a presumptive upper-casteness in many feminist studies. In this study of the representations of Dalits in the print culture of colonial north India, Charu Gupta enters new territory by looking at images of Dalit women as both victims and vamps, the construction of Dalit masculinities, religious conversion as an alternative to entrapment in the Hindu caste system, and the plight of indentured labor. The Gender of Caste uses print as a critical tool to examine the depictions of Dalits by colonizers, nationalists, reformers, and Dalits themselves and shows how differentials of gender were critical in structuring patterns of domination and subordination.
Table of contents:
Abbreviations Preface and Acknowledgments Introduction: Gendering Dalits 1. Dirty Other Vamp: (Mis)Representing Dalit Women 2. Paradoxes of Victimhood: Iconographies of Suffering, Sympathy, and Subservience 3. Dalit Viranganas: (En)Gendering the Dalit Reinvention of 1857 4. Feminine, Criminal, or Manly? Imaging Dalit Masculinities 5. Intimate and Embodied Desires: Religious Conversions and Dalit Women6. Goddesses and Women's Songs: Negotiating Dalit Popular Religion and Culture 7. Caste, Indentured Women, and the Hindi Public Sphere Conclusion Glossary Bibliography Index
Charu Gupta is associate professor of history at the University of Delhi. She is the author of Sexuality, Obscenity, Community: Women, Muslims, and the Hindu Public in Colonial India and editor of Gendering Colonial India: Reforms, Print, Caste, and Communalism.