Dr. Shailaja Paik

This course will explore the transformations of intimate life as well as of political culture in South Asia during the last two hundred years through the lens of caste and gender.

In particular, the course examines how caste and gender were made and remade in the context of colonization, anti-colonial nationalism, and the reform of Indian society. Furthermore, the course considers how these pasts impinge upon contemporary struggles around rights and recognition.

How was gender implicated in religious and cultural formations as they took shape during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? How did the experiences of family and community structure the history and politics of feminism in South Asia? If gender emerged as a sign of community identity and ‘tradition ’ so too did caste. How did struggles against caste emerge, and why is it that caste has been crucial to democratization in India in the last few decades?

This course uses gender and caste (and class) in the South Asian context as themes to hone students’ research,  analytical writing, and presentation skills.

This course is cross-listed with AIST 3123 and WGS 3123.