Mapping icons of victorian femininity: Engendering London in nineteenth-century Indian accounts

Chatterjee, Arup K. (2022) Mapping icons of victorian femininity: Engendering London in nineteenth-century Indian accounts. Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, 24 (3). pp. 313-341. ISSN 2161-427X

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Indian travelers in Victorian London began engaging with questions of nationhood, modernity, family, home, and gender roles within the ambit of reproducing the city’s imperial geography on increasingly gendered and sexist lines. The rise of Indian feminists like Sarojini Naidu, Cornelia Sorabji, Rukhmabai, and Princess Sophia notwithstanding, Indian men redrew London’s patriarchal contours. Drawing on a legacy of accounts by nineteenth-century Indian men, like T. N. Mukharji, Behramji Malabari, M. K. Gandhi, Lala Baijnath, T. B. Pandian, and G. P. Pillai, this article examines the maps of the geography of Victorian womanhood that they sought to reproduce. I argue that—while colonial travelers helped India derive administrative, bureaucratic, and architectural models—the geopolitical roots of postcolonial Indian patriarchy date back to ways in which an emotionally vulnerable Indian male gaze perceived Victorian Englishwomen. There is much to be troubled by the gendered relations that made imperial London and had an ominous afterlife in India, normalizing patriarchal expectations and codes of womanhood—a social malignancy whose etiology stems from structures of India’s colonial conflicts

Item Type: Article
Keywords: London | Colonialism | Womanhood | Rukhmabai | Cornelia Sorabji | Sarojini Naidu | M. K. Gandhi
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Arts and Humanities > Arts and Humanities (General)
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2022 05:52
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2022 05:52
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