Vol. 4 No. 2 (2019): Contemporary Literatures
ISSN No: 2583-4347
This number of Samyukta is an eclectic collection of papers covering the intersectionality of gendered spaces. In keeping with our interest in popular fiction, we have included a different reading of Harry Potter Series that looks into rewriting desire into canon in Harry Potter Slash Fanfiction and Women’s Writing. It examines slash fanfiction based on the Harry Potter series as a form of women’s writing. As stated by Lakshmi Menon in the abstract, “In doing so, it seeks to explore the ways in which slash fanfiction as a genre, with its queering of canonical content and often explicitly sexual narratives, represents an avenue for women to explore ideas of desire and sexuality while separating it from the female body”. This issue is rich in the scholarship of gender politics as we have included papers on the female body as a site of power and resistance, and gender incongruity and trans-identity.
To complement the study of resistance and inclusivity in the narratives of those kept away from the mainstream, we have a very sensitive reading of Pulayathara by Paul Chirakkarode. Published in the year 1962, Pulayathara was the first novel in Malayalam to give a graphic description of the Dalit Christian condition. Set in the Kuttanad region of Alappuzha in the 1930s, it unveils the unfinished agenda of the social reform movement that was ripping apart the fortifications of caste system in the state, when the momentum of the whirlwind of changes was delayed by the rise and spread of the Communist movement. The novel was largely ignored by the reading public and critical establishments. S Devika maintains in her paper an exposition of the dialectics of proselytization foregrounded in Pulayathara as a strategy of resistance against the enslavement, ill treatment and exploitation of the Dalits. It discusses the futility of the strategy of conversion to Christianity used by the Dalits to extricate themselves from the morass of casteism and to upgrade their social status, It brings to light the disjuncture between the promised sense of equality and the lived experience of discrimination that conversion to Christianity had in store for the downtrodden people.
G. S. Jayasree
Samyukta: A Journal of Gender and Culture