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Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval and Modern India

 
Mandakranta Bose (Editor)
Synopsis "This book offers a variety of scholarly studies in the idea, situation, and definition--including the self-definition--of women in Indian society, from the earliest historical period up to the present day. Both in its range of topics and depth of research, this volume creates a sustained focus that is not presently available in the literature on women in India. Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval, and Modern India comprises 25 essays contributed by a diverse mix of Indian, Canadian, American, and British women scholars, most of whom have lived in South Asia either for all of their lives or for extended periods. Arranged chronologically, these groundbreaking essays set aside the myths and prejudices that often clutter discussions about women in India. Part I, which is dedicated to the ancient period, defines women's positions as depicted in texts of sacred law, considers subordinated women in major Hindu epics, describes women's role in ritual and their understanding of religion, and examines the patriarchal organization of women's lives in Buddhism. Part II begins with an essay on Tantra, a major force in medieval India which influenced both Hinduism and Buddhism and placed women at the centre of its sacred rites. Other essays in Part II look at the life and legends of a medieval woman saint poet, the portrayal of a Hindu goddess in medieval Bengal, and the role of women from Mughal harems in decision making. Part III describes the colonial perception of Indian women in the late nineteenth century and shows how women's perceptions of themselves have been expressed through their art and writings as well as through their political action in the twentieth century. Providing informed and balanced analysis of extensive primary source material, this book will be an essential resource for students of women's lives in India."
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About the author

Mandakranta Bose

Dr. Mandakranta Bose, who has specialized in the Sanskrit tradition of dramaturgy and dance, teaches Religious Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada where she is Director of the Centre for India and South Asia Research. She is a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, London. Some of her recent works include Speaking of Dance: The Indian Critique; Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval and Modern India; The Dance Vocabulary of Classical India; and Movement and Mimesis: The Idea Dance in the Sanskritic Tradition.

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Bibliographic information

Title Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval and Modern India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2000
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195650859
length 346p.