Description de l'atelier / Panel description
Nida Sajid  1@  , Teresa Hubel  2@  , Agnieszka Kuczkiewicz-Fraś  3@  , Lata Singh  4@  
1 : Georg-August-University Goettingen  -  Website
Lichtenberg-Kolleg - The Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study Geismar Landstraße 11, 37083 Goettingen -  Allemagne
2 : Huron University College, London Ontario Canada  -  Website
1349 Western Road London, Ontario N6G 1H3 -  Canada
3 : Jagiellonian University  (JU)  -  Website
ul. Gronostajowa 3, 30-378 Krakow -  Pologne
4 : Jawaharlal Nehru University  -  Website
New Mehrauli Road, New Delhi 110067 -  Inde

Panel presentation :

Once considered valuable adjuncts to elite social communities all over India because of the performance traditions they cultivated and the customs of courtesy and religion they practised, tawaifs and devadasis (jointly called courtesans) have figured consistently, often prominently, in histories and private correspondence as well as in South Asian literary and popular cultural texts for more than 200 years. As women who occupied space and sometimes wielded influence in the Indian public sphere from the 17th to the 20th century, courtesans, it could be argued, contributed to the historical consolidation of modernity in India. And yet, throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they were subjected to a multi-pronged campaign to marginalize them, one that sought to classify them and their performances as ‘obscene' and so outside the norms of ‘respectable', modern society. But this attempt to suppress their music and dance traditions and exclude them from the public sphere, paradoxically, put tawaifs and devadasis at the forefront of debates and controversies among social reformers, colonial officials, and middle-class (male and female) nationalists, according them a centrality in colonial and nationalist political thought, legal and political policies, and the construction of modern gender imperatives for women and girls. The papers in our panel will examine the representation of specific courtesans in terms of their own historical contexts, discuss their contributions to the art, dance, and history of modern India, and theorize their continuing relevance to us in the 21st century.

Online user: 1 RSS Feed