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India and the Diasporic Imagination

Rita Christian
Judith Misrahi-Barak

The Visual and the Oral, the Playful and the Virtual Gender, Diaspora and Cybertexts

Pia Mukherji


This paper examines feminist South Asian weblogs with a focus on representative platforms and personas. Specifically, it notices how conventional narratives of sexuality, maternity, and everyday politics are reappropriated in mommy blogs and ‘chick lit’ confessionals in popular cyberlogs from London, Bombay, Delhi, and Illinois: Em - The Compulsive Confessor, The Accidental Momma, and??! - This is a Title. Such electronic diaries will be studied in relation to the gender politics of journal writing as a feminist strategy, as well as forums that introduce the question of ‘embodiment’ in virtual space—and illustrate how negotiations with the gendered body in discourses of sexuality, reproduction, or illness play out in insubstantial episodes of cyber talk. In addition, we will consider postmodern stylistic issues of performance, authenticity, anonymity, within network dispersals and virtual simulations of subject and form.

In this context, the paper examines the possible emergence of a differentiated ‘postfeminist’ politics in a specific diasporic forum. Do such cyber practices, in fact, facilitate pluralistic feminisms? Do they address the needs of marginalized agendas? In short, does the cyborg diaspora initiate a civil exchange or a postfeminist debate?

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  • 2 See also, for example, studies of transnational linkages by Clifford, Tomlinson, Lash and Urry. Roz (...)

1An online introduction to ‘Blogger,’ a popular e-publishing platform, describes the cyberlog as both personal and political, extensive and intimate: ‘A blog is a personal diary. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. Memos to the world. Since Blogger was launched in 1999, blogs have reshaped communities, impacted politics, and enabled millions of people to have a voice and connect with others.’1 In increasingly ‘wired’ postcolonial cultures, weblog forums stage vast collaborative networks between native and migrant participants. As online diaries record disconnected lives in an open domain, the circulation of insubstantial e-talk and cyber identities characterize newly scripted alliances in such transformed historical contexts. As such, the cyberlog phenomena exemplifies how late modern technologies have reshaped and politicized diasporic experience. The electronic diaspora seems curiously unmarked by ‘solitude, itinerancy or distance.’ Transnational connections within such virtual spaces, described by Appadurai as ‘mediascapes, technoscapes, and ethnoscapes,’ seem to reflect, in fact, ‘global trends’ of intensifying ‘transnational connectivity’ (Tsagarousianou 2007: 110) that mobilize new political identifications and brand new narratives of cosmopolitan identity.2

  • 3 By the 1990s, a conceptual shift to ‘a politics of difference’ was articulated by postfeminist crit (...)

2This essay examines feminist weblogs from the South Asian diaspora with a focus on representative platforms and personas. Specifically, it notices how conventional narratives of sexuality, maternity, and everyday politics are reappropriated in mommy blogs and ‘chick lit’ confessionals in popular cyberlogs from London, Delhi, Mumbai, Karachi and New York. I will consider such ‘feminist’ cyber ethnographies in relation to a coexisting postfeminist debate, one that marks a paradigm shift to a politics of difference within feminist theory, and that introduces technologies of the postmodern body to the notion of gendered identity.3 In this context, the paper reexamines such cyber practices, and asks if they do indeed facilitate pluralistic feminisms? Do they address the needs of marginalized agendas? In short, does the virtual platform initiate a civil exchange or an altered discourse?

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3Blogging India: A Windows Live Report, a comprehensive survey of MSN portal visitors across India during the summer of 2006, was published by Microsoft and Windows Live as part of a pan-Asian corporate research initiative.4 The study noticed the growing size and significance of elite electronic communities in the South Asian diaspora. As the blog count in the subcontinent crossed the million mark, the gender politics of the exchange seemed marked. Young, (85 %), male (76 %), and on its way to becoming the ‘new fourth estate’, this new media seemed emphatically public in character, focused largely on politics, business, and technology. Interestingly, however, entirely private motivations seemed to inspire such writing, largely used for personal self-expression and for consolidating close domestic communities of connected readers. The A list of South Asian Bloggers, catalogued by the directory service Indiblogger, features an astonishing majority of women bloggers writing in all categories: arts, sciences, politics, culture. However, the largest forums that stage the celebrity blogger and her platform seem to be specific to women’s private experience and embodied self expression, in matters of sexual and social identifications.

  • 5 For example, Margo Culley, Leigh Gilmore, Rebecca Hogan.
  • 6 Inscribing the Daily: Critical Essays on Women’s Diaries. Suzanne L. Bunkers and Cynthia A. Huff, e (...)

4Such electronic diaries, inscribing the daily, as it were, may be read within a long tradition of journal writing as a feminist strategy. Feminist scholars have noticed that as the modern dairy became increasingly associated with the writer’s secret life and the encoding and validation of common, daily experience, it became a gendered practice.5 Virginia Woolf, Adrienne Rich, Tillie Olson, have all theorized how, while speaking from inconclusive, episodic and impressionistic textual positions, secret diaries articulate a multilayered discontinuous self-image in opposition to dominant fictions of masculine, public and unified subjectivity.6 Contemporary cyber texts that document private narratives of mothering, domestic life, or personified sexuality in dated electronic entries, may be read, therefore, as postmodern interventions within an expressive tradition; as texts that further revise notions of truth, voice, language and gender. However, even while reading such network dispersals and simulations of subject and form, we must ask the question: do these performances, in fact, deconstruct notions of authentic identity predicated on a priori experience? Or, do they miss how such categories—for example, of women’s bodies, or women’s work, or women’s consciousness—are continually reconstructed and historically situated?

  • 7 The work of Michele Barrett, Maureen Cain, Caroline Ramazanoglu, for instance, study aspects of the (...)

5Postmodern feminists have theorized the gendered body as assembled, performative, textualized and disciplined. Donna Haraway writes, ‘by the late twentieth century, a mythic time, we are both machines and chimeras’, theorized, fabricated and hybrid cyborgs, and we practice a shifting, mobile ‘cyborg politics’ by assuming critical positions in response to ‘technological domination’ (174). Judith Butler’s work proposes a new understanding of gender as performance by dissociating the free floating category of gender from the particular body, and suggests heterosexuality is an effect of such performance. Gender is not an expression of a stable identity that precedes it: ‘As the effects of a subtle and politically enforced perfomativity, gender is an act, as it were….’ (187). Genealogical methods are often used within this paradigm to contextualize the specific ways in which such gender effects are disciplined in small microsystems of power within which the performative body acts or speaks.7

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6Last October, a popular blog on Indiblogger, posted from an anonymous North American college town and devoted to cryptic crosswords and some postcolonial feminist analysis, staged a curious disclosure. The author had previously assumed a textualized identity named???, and had asserted: ‘You can call me Kim, or Amelie, or Arkady. Arkady: the Renko character from the Martin Cruz Smith books. So, Kim after the book named thus. Amelie after the film named so. And Arkady as described above. Three characters whose personalities I most closely resemble. Just so you know’.8

7Crucially, the speaking voice in the diary was most careful not to disclose gender for over two years, and explained, ‘You may assume I’m female, but I could tell you that I’m a 42-year old mother-of-three, or a 24-year old male banker, and all of it could be lies. So, dear reader, the secrecy is only because I want the words to stand on their own’.

8However, not surprisingly, the ‘words’ failed to remain unmarked— and in comment space conversations and blogroll categories, ‘Kim’ or ‘Amelie’ became comprehensively being read as a girl blogger. The construction is described thus in a post On Anonymity and Being a Girl Blogger:

When I began blogging, I did so with a deliberate intent that my persona would not be an extension of my identity, although it would be sourced from it. However, once I began to get read, unexpectedly, people began to assume that I was a desi female: perhaps because of the number of female-rights news articles that I kept pointing to, or perhaps because of all those Indian recipe posts. This was all very fascinating. Anything that I now wrote was being perceived through the lens of my being female. To the extent that even I began to see this person as somebody real. Increasingly, when I sat down to blog, I would feel the presence of a young woman who would subtly influence the matter of my political posts and my commentaries. (8.10.08).

9Finally, in a sensational post in which the author is outed, the last confession analysed the difficulties of achieving authenticity, and in some sense, its necessity. The disclosure fixed definition by strategically managing textual fluidity and gender ambivalence.

Determining what I could be truthful about on this public blog was a defining period for me, because once you identify who you are, when you have no secrets at all, from self and others—you can write as you really are. You can belong. The point of this? To be honest would be to tell you that this blogger is of the male persuasion. And why now? Why not when I was blogrolled under the ‘Girls’ section? Why not when people addressed comments to me as ‘Missy’? Because, well… umm… just because. (27.05.08).

10In describing as an impersonation that which had been interpreted as real, the blogger reconstructs authorship, and returns to the identity that had been ‘falsely’ construed as an effect by the performance of the unmarked self. This movement, from performance and cyborg assembly to a truthful resolution of self and its representation, is paradigmatic. Generic cyber narratives repeat the pattern, evident especially, for example, in the embodied identity politics of popular diasporic confessional and mommy blog forums. If, as Adrienne Rich has noticed, a woman’s body is ‘the terrain on which patriarchy is erected’ (55)—in the sense that, historically, social and philosophical texts have ‘restricted women’s roles using pseudo biological definitions… then, scripting the body, giving it a voice, and locating feminist politics in the experience of gendered sexuality becomes a viable project’ (159); this is a politics practiced, for instance, by both second wave and post-structuralist feminists: Simone de Beauvoir, Shulamith Firestone, Adrienne Rich, as well as Helen Cixous, Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray. However, such arguments have also been critiqued from postcolonial and post-feminist perspectives, as for example, by Spivak, Barret, Felski, in arguments that claim that by thus constructing fixed categories, any possibility of marking difference within gendered identities is erased.

11Cultural practices and representations that preserve this identification, with female sexuality and the exigencies of biological reproduction, even while they perform postmodern strategies of assembly and textual play, cannot establish a post-feminist debate that acknowledges situated histories or distinctions of class, race, or ‘normative’ desire. Private cyberdiaries that write postcolonial accounts of mothering and female sexuality do achieve a recoding of the body in opposition to conventional categories, but they do so in reference to a ‘naturalized’ body politics allied with a standpoint ideology. To illustrate these complexities—of specific and gendered embodiment in South Asian virtual forums—I will choose two celebrity personas whose diaries first propose feminist enactments of self, and then provide for conventional resolutions as they perform within established categories of class location, heterosexuality or commodity culture.

  • 9 Accessed on 6.24.09.
  • 10 Blog moniker changed to protect privacy.

12Em: The Compulsive Confessor, pioneered the sex and the city style confessional in South Asian cyber culture.9 Presenting herself as an anonymous twenty something writer living in the urban jungle of the global south, her intimate and unguarded accounts of local parties, everyday dating and many boyfriends, are well written and interesting, if only because of the intensely felt rather than terribly audacious content. Em’s enormous readership and spin off copycat blogs have helped establish a specific confessional forum, inhabited by urban, unattached, traveling, voices seeking anonymous publicity, in the business of writing life, telling secrets, exposing intimacies, all in a private mode of address. In a sense, her scandalous celebrity, the wide and unselfconscious response to her life, creates a platform where South Asian women exchange confidences, and, most interestingly, a forum that allows the emergence of new narratives like that of Mop, who writes her Confessions from the Closet in London, as she documents the difficulties of commencing a secret lesbian life following the disintegration of a conventional marriage.10

  • 11 Madhavan, Meenakshi Reddy. You Are Here. New York: Penguin Books, 2009.

13The individual expression of female sexuality, largely unspoken or secret in everyday public culture is narrated here using the strategy of veiled disclosure and, as such, successfully negotiates comment space scrutiny and censor in an open forum. It is a little disconcerting, therefore, to find Em’s identity suddenly outed to allow the international marketing of her blog fiction of liberated sexuality by Penguin India as a conventional multinational chick lit package11— leaving one to wonder, that perhaps this was all it was, a confessional tell all priced to sell for mass consumption in a book deal that noticed Em’s readymade diasporic celebrity, and cashed in on her blog performance as a generic and bestselling formula.

  • 12 Blog moniker changed, url not provided, to protect the identities of children featured on the site.
  • 13 Directory resources include, for example, Indimommy (@), or Ac (...)

14The case of The Accidental Momma is perhaps even more instructive.12 An emergent community of wired mommy bloggers have consolidated a chatroom of their own in the South Asian cyber diaspora, sharing sonogram first pictures, hosting virtual baby showers, enabling electronic hand holding through post-partum depression.13 The narratives negotiate both Western and local cultures of patriarchal containment: oppressive pregnancy rituals, intercaste or expatriate identity issues, childcare systems in contemporary city cultures etc. As such, they represent modern feminist practices in a global and postcolonial context. The Accidental Momma, whose cyber diary features her two adorable preschool children and her life in South Delhi, provides perhaps the most popular blog forum for such domestic narratives that address questions of maternal identity and (re) productive labor, and recover an embodied politics of nurture, procreation, and the preservation of the rights of the child to privacy, protection, life. AMomma’s journal ‘performs’ identity by assuming partial anonymity. It presents visually and rhetorically, the experience of motherhood and its psychosexual constitution, making visible aspects of the childbearing or the childrearing body while the face is always in shadow. In particularly effective instances of self-analysis that privileges essentialist identity politics and female community, the Accidental Momma writes:

I am branded mother. Like a hot iron I feel the little body burn into my skin, right through the bones and into my consciousness… Adoption is noble and all that, but having a child includes some things beyond just raising one. The joy that comes from the knowledge that every fiber is something you have contributed from your own body.

15Momma’s politics has astonishing appeal, and inspires dialogue and community alliances across parochial restrictions and ideological divides. She writes, ‘When I open myself up like a rag doll and lay out the pieces to examine them, I recognize that I like my sense of self… based within a displaced community of women and mothers… who share my inner space’. The conversations spill over to supportive communications on experiences of regional terrorism, (solidarity and analysis by mommy bloggers from Karachi after Mumbai’s 26/11, for instance), or analysis of factional violence within nations as well as within a marriage. Consciously grounding its agenda on domestic and embodied experience— (she endorses mothering over professional work, and life over choice in the abortion debate)—AMomma’s blog, interestingly, still draws wide support from feminist collaborative forums practicing socialist intervention—in matters of the state, the law, and civil institutions.

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16Bored by AMomma’s detailed accounts of the Brat’s preschool issues and jealous of her phenomenal ‘hits stats’, a watchdog blog, a male collaboration given mostly to analysing global economics and the finer points of cricket, decided to take her on in a loaded attempt at sabotage by linking to her blog in a tabloid style post. In response, Ultraviolet, a socialist feminist forum, wrote a supportive edit that questioned, ironically, both biological and philosophical essentialisms characterizing gender binaries:14

An attack on mombloggers has said, in its own defense, that it was all right to say what was said because the momblog in question ‘obfuscate[d] the absence of a career with the presence of a uterus.’ This is an astonishing statement. It assumes that all parenting concerns automatically abdicate the call of the brain - apparently a masculine organ - in favour of the uterus; ‘Uterus’ seems to spell ‘natural’, and therefore nothing that requires effort or the exercise of reason. One is either born with a uterus or not, so, talking about it all seriously is an affront.

… At times it appears that new mothers are a ghetto unto themselves, incomprehensible and separate from the regular world of working women, doomed to silence in the absence of places to talk about the gestalt shift in their lives. Now, it appears that new mothers have not only found a few rooms of their own in a vast cyber domain, they have become articulate and noticeable. In the process, if they have once again embraced all the things that were traditionally considered the province of women—absorption with children, their bodies, the looking after of hearth and home, whether to resume a career or not—it is ironic that the call to shut up about these things comes not from other women who have fought long and hard to claim other areas as their own, but from a man who is annoyed by how popular these women are but is not especially seized by any doubts about what the persistent binaries might mean to our understanding of gender. (12.20.07)

  • 15 Sara Ruddick, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Carole Pateman have theorized such ‘body’ politics that underwr (...)
  • 16 See Chantal Mouffe’s discussion on ‘Feminism, Citizenship and Radical Democratic Politics’ in Femin (...)
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17Such comprehensive coalition building reminds us that feminist revisions of liberal community have often referenced ‘maternal thinking’ or a ‘sexually differentiated’ concepts of citizenship in theorizing, for instance, an ‘ethics of care’ based on values associated with mothering and private nurture, against the prevailing public ‘ethics of individualism’.15 However, poststructural critiques also point to the partial nature of identifications underwriting coalition politics that fail to recognize the multiple formations and effects of gendered experience and identities.16 Crucially, in the bourgeois chic forum of the momblogs, it is a strategic exclusion of global subaltern experience that enables self expression and the consolidation of group solidarity. Traditional narratives of exile, assimilation and return, for example, are rewritten within this migrant discourse entirely from the assimilated perspective of privileged and responsible maternity. For example, a widely read blog post documenting ‘One Family’s Journey to America and Back’ in the Wharton online newsletter explains how the successful banker on Wall Street must return to become a better mother in Bangalore, and effectively use sub-continental poverty as a progressive parenting tool:17

India’s social fabric seemed more conducive to raising a family. In New York, I used to tell my kids about the hungry children in India to make them finish their dinner. Here, I actually point them out. Down the road is a four-year-old girl who lives in a shanty town and wears the same clothes every day. My five-year-old notices this. I want my kids to see how privileged they are—and here in India, it stares them in the face…. This will help them develop compassion and also perhaps that wonderful spirit of American volunteerism. (11.01.07)

18In the specific case of AMomma’s blog, such exclusions rely on designated ‘aberrant’ models of mothering and childhood situations— homosexual, working class, childfree, non biological. In a post on Harry Potter that provoked a storm of comment space dissension, AMomma speaks her mind: ‘In my opinion, calling Dumbledore gay is not cool. I’d like my child to take in the security of the heterosexual mommy/daddy structure before the unfamiliar variations on the normal theme are presented’. Her narratives are peopled by the enigmatic presence and incomplete histories of alternative diasporas—of domestic female and child labor, and street walking women and children who escape the imperatives of naturalized mothering and nurture and the rights and protections and that such constructions provide. AMomma files a police report on her teenaged maid, migrant labor from Jharkhand, who remains missing all night after an evening out, and explains pragmatically: ‘This is Delhi, and bad things happen. My first concern is to ensure that my husband doesn’t get questioned for a rape and murder he didn’t commit. I might later be concerned about an absconding maid’. Irresponsible pregnancies and unnatural maternal violence characterize these accounts. Discussing her difficult history of managing careless domestic help, AMomma recalls:

My maid in Hyderabad was a tiny wraith of a creature. And she kept getting pregnant and miscarrying. I finally took her to a doctor who advised that she give her uterus a break for a year. She got pregnant within the month. And miscarried. I gave up (because) these people don’t really seem to care for dignity…. Here, we need to work with them to improve their position, the key word being, ‘with’ them. They need to want to improve before they expect the entire country’s attitude towards them to change.

19Advocating on the Blank Noise Project, a global blog initiative on violence against women and children, AMomma makes a sensitive statement about the personal psychological effects of childhood abuse, but on a platform that takes no notice of background, laboring children who feature in stories instructing responsible parenting, of the scars they might bear, or the attention they may need.

20This essay, as such, attempts to document the ‘limits of global mobility and connections’ (Xavier 2008: 29). Even as cluster-maps embedded within popular eblogs illuminate busy concentrations of readership in the global south and Western diasporas, we notice that the hectic transformation of the South Asian cyberdomain remains largely metropolitan and exclusive. Even as digital sitemeters record footfalls that cross the million mark on eforums where desi girls practice feminist networking, it becomes evident that such mobilities are often asymmetrical and regulated. Specifically, feminist cyber ethnographies that recover an everyday politics of embodiment in virtual diasporic forums effectively negotiate stylistic issues of multimedia presentation and technological simulation within network dispersals of subject and form. However, they also demonstrate a shift toward resituating fixed identity categories based on standpoint experience and epistemology. Such insubstantial episodes of cybertalk tend toward uniform civil exchanges rather than differentiated postfeminist debates. The performances may, in fact, most usefully be read in the context of Foucault’s argument in The History of Sexuality: ‘knowledge, under the banner of history, does not depend on “rediscovery”, and it emphatically excludes the “rediscovery of ourselves”. History becomes “effective” to the degree it introduces discontinuity into our very being— as it divides our emotions, dramatizes our instincts, multiplies our body and sets it against itself’ (154).


Works Cited

Brooks, Ann. Postfeminisms: Feminism, Cultural Theory, and Cultural Forms. London and New York: Routledge, 1997.

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. 1990. London: Routledge, 1999.

Bunkers, Suzanne L. and Cynthia A. Huff. ‘Issues in Studying Women’s Diaries: A Theoretical and Critical Introduction’. Inscribing the Daily: Critical Essays on Women’s Diaries. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1996; 1- 22.

Clifford, James. Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century. Cambridge MA: Harvard UP, 1997.

Culley, Margo, ed. American Women’s Autobiography: Fea (s) ts of Memory. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.

Elshtain, Jean Bethke. Public Man, Private Woman. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1981.

Foucault, Michel. Language, Counter Memory, Practice. Trans. Davis F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1977; 153—154.

Gilmore, Leigh. Autobiographics: A Feminist Theory of Women’s Self-Representation. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1994.

Haraway, Donna. ‘A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s’ in Coming to Terms: Feminism, Theory, Politics. Elizabeth Weed, ed. New York: Routledge, 1989.

Hogan, Rebecca. ‘Engendered Autobiographies: the Diary as a Feminine Form’. Prose Studies: Special Issue on Autobiography and Questions of Gender 14.2 (September 1991): 95-107.

Lash, S. and J. Urry. Economies of Signs and Spaces. London: Sage, 1994.

Mouffe, Chantal. ‘Feminism, Citizenship and Democratic Politics’, in Feminists Theorize the Political. Judith Butler and Joan W. Scott, eds. New York: Routledge, 1992; 369—384.

Pateman, Carole. The Sexual Contract. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1988.

Rich, Adrienne. Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution. London: Virago Press, 1977.

Ruddick, Sara. Maternal Thinking. London: Verso, 1989.

Thornham, Sue. ‘Technologies of the Body’, in Feminist Theory and Cultural Studies: Studies of Unsettled Relations. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000; 155 -181.

Tomlison, J. Globalization and Culture. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1999.

Tsagarousianou, Roza. ‘Reevaluating Diaspora: Connectivity, Communication and Imagination in a Globalized World’. Sociology of Diaspora: A Reader. Ajay Kumar Sahoo and Brij Maharaj, eds. Jaipur: Rawat Publications, 2007; 101—107.

Xavier, Jonathan and Renato Rosaldo. ‘Tracking Global Flows’, in The Anthropology of Globalization: A Reader. Jonathan Xavier and Renato Rosaldo eds. Malden MA: Blackwell, 2008; 3—46.



2 See also, for example, studies of transnational linkages by Clifford, Tomlinson, Lash and Urry. Roza Tsagarousianou’s essay ‘Reevaluating Diaspora: Connectivity, Communication and Imagination in a Globalized World’ usefully describes such theoretical evaluations of late modern diasporic phenomena.

3 By the 1990s, a conceptual shift to ‘a politics of difference’ was articulated by postfeminist critiques of radical feminist politics. For example, the work of Gayatri Spivak, Seyla Benhabib, Jane Flax, Linda Nicholson, Nancy Fraser, Michelle Barrett and Judith Butler challenged, from post-structuralist or postcolonial positions, the liberal or socialist identity politics of second wave feminisms. As such, essentialist notions of female subjectivity and standpoint histories of embodied or ideological experience, used to theorize female subjectivity and feminist epistemologies, were now being recognized as continually reconstructed, historically differentiated and discursive. See Ann Brooks’ comprehensive introduction to the postfeminist debate in Postfeminisms: Feminism, Cultural Theory and Cultural Forms.


5 For example, Margo Culley, Leigh Gilmore, Rebecca Hogan.

6 Inscribing the Daily: Critical Essays on Women’s Diaries. Suzanne L. Bunkers and Cynthia A. Huff, eds. 5— 7.

7 The work of Michele Barrett, Maureen Cain, Caroline Ramazanoglu, for instance, study aspects of the intersection of feminist theory with Foucauldian analyses of power. Read Ann Brooks’ analysis ‘Foucault and Postfeminism: Discourse, Power and Resistance’ in Postfeminism; 47-68.


9 Accessed on 6.24.09.

10 Blog moniker changed to protect privacy.

11 Madhavan, Meenakshi Reddy. You Are Here. New York: Penguin Books, 2009.

12 Blog moniker changed, url not provided, to protect the identities of children featured on the site.

13 Directory resources include, for example, Indimommy (@), or Accessed on 6.24.09.


15 Sara Ruddick, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Carole Pateman have theorized such ‘body’ politics that underwrite feminist citizenship.

16 See Chantal Mouffe’s discussion on ‘Feminism, Citizenship and Radical Democratic Politics’ in Feminists Theorize the Political; 369-384.

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Independent Scholar
Has a Ph. D on British Modernism from The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research interests and publications are in the areas of modern British fiction and the South Asian colonial archive, and her essay “Inconsequential Lives: The Voyage Out and Anglo-Indian fictions of Voyaging and Domesticity” has recently been published in New Readings in the Literature of British India c.1780—1947 by Ibidem Press. She has taught seminar courses on modernism, postcolonial writing and film studies at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, Mary Mount Manhattan College and the City College in New York. Most recently, she has been a lecturer in English at Tufts University, Medford, MA.

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