This edited volume examines how sexual violence and feminist interventions in South Asia and the Diaspora have been articulated in literature and popular culture in the context of and in opposition to the #MeToo Movement. The #MeToo has significantly impacted how we understand sexual harassment, rape, and gendered violence, especially in the US. However, the movement was taken up only briefly by the media and entertainment industry in South Asia and the Diaspora. This can be attributed to multiple reasons, including several regionally specific movements, such as the 2009 Pink Chaddi Campaign and 2011 #WhyLoiter campaign, that have been radically popular within the sub-continent. Thus, in an era where the Global North has been a model for influencing change in the Global South, there has been an inconspicuous absence of the #MeToo Movement.
More importantly, it has not made an impact at the grassroots level because it is hinged on both the victim-survivor to speak up, which more often than not leads to victim-shaming and victim-blaming and limited access to virtual platforms. In the South Asian context, such testimonies are still taboo because victim-survivors are often reluctant to share and relive their traumatic experiences even if they have the means and access to do so. Therefore, our edited volume seeks to problematize the #MeToo movement in order to reimagine and contextualize it in South Asia and the South Asian diaspora as a much-needed intervention that moves beyond the #Metoo to articulate a transnational feminist movement that is rooted in the specificity of intersectional experiences of the victim-survivors.
We wish to explore questions such as, but not limited to:
· How does literature address #MeToo to make it more inclusive of non-white and marginalized voices?
· How can we problematize the elitist exclusivity of #Metoo in Hollywood/Bollywood industry within the South Asian and in the Diasporic context?
· How are filmmakers and other methods of cultural productions addressing these spaces?
Recent works include Alka Kurian and Sonora Jha’s New Feminisms in South Asia: Disrupting the Discourse Through Social Media, Film, and Literature (2018), Heather Hewitt and Mary Holland’s #MeToo and Literary Studies: Reading, Writing, and Teaching About Sexual Violence (2021), Pallavi Guha’s Hear #MeToo in India: News, Social Media, and Anti-Rape and Sexual Harassment Activism (2021) and Sonora Jha’s How To Raise A Feminist Son (2021) have examined the #MeToo movement. In light of the ongoing and increasing gender-based violence occurring in South Asia and the diaspora, our edited volume will explore new ways of formulating complex and nuanced gendered subjectivities vis-à-vis the lens of postcolonialism, transnational feminism and intersectionality. Our focus shifts away from the traditional approaches of victimization to generate dialogue, create a new platform to break the silence and encourage discomforting narratives to normalize conversations surrounding this pivotal issue. We seek to understand how literary and cultural interventions from South Asia and the diaspora articulate a transnational feminist movement’s radical divergence from the assimilationist discourse of the #MeToo Movement and, consequently, the Global North.
This volume of critical essays will focus on representations of the #MeToo movement in Literature, Popular Culture, Film, and Media Studies.
Themes include but are not limited to the following:
- Pedagogy and Transformative Learning via #MeToo in the Classroom
- Queer/LGBTQI+ Spaces within #MeToo
- New Masculinities
- Contemporary Gender Movements and Resistances
- Caste, Gender, Class, and Social Spaces
- Problematization of #MeToo and ‘Speaking Up’
- New Modalities of Testimonies
- Resistance and Digital Feminist Interventions
- New Feminist Mediations
- Militarized Feminist Modernities
- Viral Videos
- Censorship, Cultural Production, and Minority Literature
- Mythologies, Legends, and Sexuality
We welcome informal queries, and potential contributors may submit a 300-350 word abstract and 2-page CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 31, 2022. Please direct queries to Dr Nidhi Shrivastava (Sacred Heart University), email@example.com, Dr Ruma Sinha (Syracuse University), firstname.lastname@example.org, and Dr Billie T. Guarino (Jamia Milia Islamia), email@example.com. Acceptance of the final articles is subject to double-blind peer review. The final deadline for submission of 5,000- 6,000-word articles will be April 1, 2023. This project is under contract with Lexington Books.
** We will reach out to those who have already submitted their abstract in the previous iteration in the coming weeks **
Dr. Nidhi Shrivastava
Lecturer of English
Sacred Heart University