Associate Professor Srila Roy (University of the Witwatersrand) is visiting the University of Sydney as the 2022 recipient of the Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC) Hunt-Simes Visiting Chair of Sexuality Studies. Srila is based at the Department of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Her new book is called Changing the Subject: Feminist and Queer Politics in Neoliberal India (Duke University Press, 2022) and she is co-editor, Feminist Theory and Principal Investigator, Governing Intimacies (Andrew Mellon Foundation).
When: Thursday, 11 August 2022 1:00pm-2:00pm
Where: A02 Level 6 Seminar Room 650
Abstract: In this talk, I will present a snapshot of a quintessentially neoliberal development initiative in eastern India, that constitutes part of the ethnography of my forthcoming book, Changing the Subject: Feminist and Queer Politics in Neoliberal India. In the book, I centre the actions and assumptions of an organisation I call Janam, which sought to empower poor, mostly lower caste women in rural West Bengal. Its microfinance institution embodied key global dynamics in attaching the promise of poverty alleviation, through financialisation, to human and women’s rights. Janam’s everyday work echoed, however, with multiple genealogies of educating and empowering women. Besides transnational neoliberal development, these included colonial governance and postcolonial state-led developmentalism, and nationally and regionally specific understandings of women’s vulnerability. The density of intimate governance that these lineages produced were manifest in several strategies adopted by the organisation; some of which I will present and analyse. My case study and its specific historic and geographic locale provides a rich site for considering the entangled evolution of intimate modes of feminist governance at the grassroots.
The book can be ordered at Duke University Press at a discount of 30% off, with the code E22ROY.
Set image: Metropolitan Building (Kolkata) by Biswarup Ganguly Wikipedia Commons