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Gendered Spectre:Trauma, cultural memory and the Indian partition

Abstract: The focus of this essay is gendered collective memory of the partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947, at the time of Independence from British rule. The essay addresses the question of whether there are similarities between trauma studies that developed within a Western Freudian psychoanalytic framework and the anti-colonial theory practiced by decolonizing nations. Taking two women's texts, the essay examines how gender manifests itself within the framework of trauma and how it is played out in collective memory of partition. The texts chosen raise interesting questions about gender, trauma and the nation and provide an alternative non-Western framework through which the trauma of partition can be read. The essay points to how the category of memory and its meanings vary in their national, cultural and historical specificity.

Radhika Mohanram
Taylor and Francis Online