【Date & Time】November 9 (Friday), 2018 16:00~17:30
【Venue】Lecture Room 1 (AA401), 4th Floor, Research Building No.2, Yoshida Main Campus, Kyoto University
(Building no.34 of the map on this page)


【Speaker】Prof. Jyoti Atwal (Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India)
【Title】The Widowhood Question in Colonial and Contemporary India


Widows in India constituted 34 million in 2011. The overall proportion of widows to total population of women in India is 6.9 per cent. Almost 30,000 widows were below the age of 15. Widows experience widowhood differently in both urban and the rural parts of India, yet the widows’ oppression rooted in the rural economy has different implications. In the rural areas factors such as illiteracy, caste loyalties and ideas of honour, preference for male child, arbitrariness of property claims and maintenance rights of the women as daughters, wives and widows, place women in a more vulnerable situation than their urban counterparts. Widowhood in most rural parts of India is dominated by the notion that a widow is inauspicious, thereby justifying her exclusion from society and to deny her access to resources, cultural as well as economic. In my presentation, which spans colonial and independent India, I will be looking at three noteworthy events that have so far impacted widowhood in India. The first phase was marked by the ban of Sati (Hindu custom of widow immolation) through Sati Act of 1829; the second chronological event was marked by creation of a public debate over widow remarriage; the third issue is the war widows’ pensions and cultural trauma.


Profile of the speaker:
Dr. Jyoti Atwal is currently Associate Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. She engages with issues pertaining to Indian women in the reformist, nationalist and contemporary perspectives; socio-cultural and religious aspects of women’s lives in colonial and post colonial India; autobiographies of women and narratives of the personal and the political domains; dalit (low caste) women’s history. Her field of research also includes Irish women’s history. She has recently published a book entitled Real and Imagined Widows: Gender Relations in Colonial North India (Delhi: Primus, 2016).


【Contact】KINDAS Office Email:indas_office[at]asafas.kyoto-u.ac.jp
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Co-hosted by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) “Can Democracy Overcome Violence?: Comparative Analysis among Indian States” (Principal Investigator: Kazuya Nakamizo), South Asia and Indian Ocean Studies Seminar