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Cutlass: Objects Toward a Theory of Representation

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This chapter traces the cutlass, a plantation tool that Indian men sometimes used to harm their partners, across contemporary Indo-Caribbean feminist writing and arts. It thinks across black feminist and Indo-Caribbean feminist thought in order to offer a materialist history of “wife murders” in the post-emancipation period. In Coolie Woman, Gaiutra Bahadur reproduces the spectacular violence in the colonial archive by recounting “wife murders” in stark detail. In contrast, Andil Gosine’s metal brooch “Cutlass” revises the colonial narrative of “wife murders” as Gosine invokes his grandmother’s domestic work with the cutlass. Through these readings, this chapter poses a dougla feminist theory of representation, which understands Indian women’s desires and sex work in the context of African wage labor and Indian indentureship.

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... Gender studies and feminist empowerment movements were indeed central well before migration: they account for an important share of the literature on Indo-Caribbean communities (Hosein, 2012;Kanhai 1999Kanhai & 2011Khan, 2016). Socially, the poor ratio of women among indentured labourers resulted in new gender roles with cases of polyandry and major involvement of women in strikes, for instance (Parsard, 2016). As for religion, Sita has been a rallying but ambivalent character among Hindu diasporic communities. ...
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HERSKOVITS, Melville Jean, prof, anthropology; b. Bellefontaine, O., Sept. ro, 1895; s. Herman and Henrietta (Hart) H.; Ph. B. U. of Chicago, 1920; A. M., Columbia, 1921, Ph. D., 1923; m. Frances S. Shapiro, July 12, 1924-, 1 dau. Jean Frances. Fellow in anthropology, Board of Biol. Sciences, Nat. Research Council, 1923-26; lecturer in anthropology. Columbia, 1924-27, Howard U., 1925; asst. prof. anthropology, Northwestern U. 1921-30, asso. prof., 1931-35, prof. since 1935-, director Program of African Studies since 1951, honorary professor anthropology, Fac. de Filosofía, Bahia, Brazil; Guggenheim Memorial fellow, 1937-38; field research in Dutch Guiana, 1928-29, W. Africa, 1931, Haiti, 1934 Trinidad, 1939 Brazil, 1941-42, Sub-Saharan, Africa, 1953, 57; visiting prof. grad sch. U. I11., 1948-49. Chmn. com. on African anthropol.; chairman com. on international relations in anthropology, div. anthropology and psychology, National Research Council, 1942-50-, chmn. com. Negro studies, Am. Council Learned Socs., 1939-50. Mem. permanent council, Internat. Anthrop. Congress-, v. p., member exec. com. Internat. Union Anthropol. and Ethnol. Scis. Decorated officer Order of Honor and Merit, Haiti, officer order of Orange-Nassau, The Netherlands, Honorary fellow Royal Netherlands Geog. Assn. Royal Anthrop. Inst; fellow National Academy of Sciences, A.A.A.S. (vice president 1934), Soc. Research Child Development, Am. Anthrop. Assn. (pres. Central sect. 1939, exec. bd. 1947-, editor of The American Anthropologist, 1949-52); African Studies Association president 1957-58); member Am. Assn. Phys. Anthropologists, Am. Folklore Soc. (pres. 1945), Société des Africanistes de Paris, International African Institute (exec. council), Council on Foreign Relations, Club: University (Evanston, Illinois). Author: The American Negro, A Study in Racial Crossing, 1928; Anthropometry of the American Negro, 1930; Outline of Dahomean Religious Belief (with Frances S. Herskovits). 1933; Rebel Destiny, Among the Bush Negroes of Dutch Guiana (with same), 1934; Suriname Folklore (with same) 1936; Life in a Haitian Valley, 1937; Dahomey, 1938; Acculturation, 1938; The Economic Life of Primitive Peoples, 1940-, The Myth of the Negro Past, 1941; Trinidad Village (with Frances S. Herskovits), 1947; Man and His Works, 1948; Economic Anthropology, 1952-, Franz Boos, The Science of Man in the Making, 1953) Cultural Anthropology, 1955; Dahomean Narrative, a Cross Cultural Analysis (with Frances S. Herskovits), 1958. Homer 810 Clinton PL, Evanston, I11.
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