Vol. 4 No. 1 (2019): Literature and Literariness
ISSN No: 2583-4347Editorial
This number of Samyukta examines the complex registers of literature and literariness. Defining the terrains of the ‘literary’ has always been a contested act. Narrating the lives of those who are kept away from the mainstream has hardly ever found a space there. Therefore we have included a paper by Shimi Shajan A that brings together the problematic aspects of queer identity and black citizenship. Mainstream cinema has largely ignored homoerotic relations between the ‘non-white-skinned’ people. The film under discussion, Barry Jenkins’ Oscar winning film, ‘Moonlight’(2016) , addresses the homophobic tendency within the Black community. The film also talks about the issue of normative masculinity and the difficulty faced by young boys to live up to the societal expectations. In keeping with the professed editorial policy of Samyukta, we include papers that attempt a re-reading of established critical positions. Laura Mulvey, in her canonical essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema “, has naturalised male gaze prompting everyone to look at the world through the eyes of men. This has in fact had the opposite effect from what Mulvey might have intended. In the paper “Photographs as Cultural Text: Decoding Mary Ellen Mark’s Falkland Road: Prostitutes of Bombay “, Gopika Gopan discusses the work of the American photographer, who used her photographic proficiency to challenge the discourses concerned with prostitution. Through her female gaze she exposed the unnoticed world of prostitution in India. Her photos of the prostitutes of Kamathipura presented the condition of women who were used for the sexual gratification of men. Mary Ellen Mark gave the world a new style of photography, that of unapologetically documenting the vulnerable sections of society.
We have also included Sreya Miriam Shaji’s paper which discusses a uniform taxonomy and theory of Fanfiction, a new genre that is garnering attention in the digitization of literary spaces. It is a popular form of fan labour and is an enormously popular genre with a niche audience.
G. S. Jayasree
Samyukta: A Journal of Gender and Culture