Vol. 9 No. 1 (2024): General


This issue of Samyukta: A Journal of Gender and Culture brings together a collection of articles delving into the intricacies of social, political, and mediated narratives that construct and inform women's lived realities. Challenging the socially normalized perceptions of women's identities and experiences, the articles provide valuable insights into how women assert their agency in a male-dominated world plagued by social and political violence. “Woman and Militant Nationalism: Srijit Mukherji’s Rajkahini and the Issue of Partition” by Tania Chakravertty unsettles the Madonna-Whore binary through a reading of Rajkahini that depicts the active participation of prostitutes in a brothel in scripting a form of militant nationalism during the Indian Independence Movement. “Battling Binaries: The Psychosocial Endurance of Gender Constructs in West Asian War Fiction” by Manisha Bhadran challenges the grammar and vocabulary used to navigate the experiential world of conflict zones in the contemporary world. The paper problematizes the stereotypes of the binaries like civilian / combatant and home / front to situate women in war zones as active participants in the conflict. “Survivor Narratives and the Politics of Echmukutty’s Memoir” by T. Amiya and “Voices of Resistance: Caste and Gender in Meena Kandasamy's Poetry” by Karthika S are discussions of powerful narratives of and by women that further challenge the victim / survivor binary. Echnukutty’s memoir as well as Meena Kandasamy’s poems are verbal attacks against the violence of casteist and patriarchal discourses by women who refuse to be bogged down by discrimination and violence. Visual narratives disseminated mostly through broadcast and digital media play a seminal role in conditioning social perceptions. In this hypermediated world of visual narratives, “Virtual Discrimination: Advertisements and Self Image” by Corrine Rita War discusses the tropes and metaphors frequently used in advertisements that aid and abet the patriarchal structures. As any discussion of women’s issues cannot be confined to a select set of disciplines but demands a trans-disciplinary approach. “Empowering Women through Self Help Groups led Microcredit: A Novel Initiative” by Veena Renjini K K takes us through the new forms of economic interventions targeted towards enhancing the empowerment of women. This issue concludes with a paper that challenges the prevailing paradigm of feminist discourse, which frequently restricts itself to explicit gender debates. “Exploring the Division of Labour in the Family: Insights from Women in the Service Sector in Darjeeling Town” by Ritu Mangar is a sociological study of the negotiations of working women with the gendered spatialities of the domestic sphere. In "Celebrification through Media Spectacles: Emerging Forms of Performativity in Indian Politics," Lakshmi Sukumar offers a critical examination of the burgeoning mediated culture of political performances in India. The analysis reveals that while the narrative constructions of male politicians are characterized by power and control, the representations and performances of female politicians continue to emphasize their femininity.

          In conclusion, this issue aims to redefine the boundaries of contemporary academic discussions on women's issues through an analysis of diverse narrative constructions. To maintain the academic rigour of the discussion, texts from varied domains—literary, visual, and social—have been included. This approach aids in mapping the fluid boundaries of literary and cultural texts, thereby challenging conventional patriarchal rhetoric that offers a reductive understanding of women's agency.

G. S. Jayasree
Chief Editor
Samyukta: A Journal of Gender and Culture


Published: 2024-07-16