Concept Note

In her seminal essay entitled, ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’ Hélène Cixous argues vehemently in favour of the importance of writing in women’s lives. Pointing towards the phallocentrism inherent in all languages, Cixous argues that women must write their bodies and refuse to be limited by the dictates of conventional writing. According to Cixous when a woman can write her mind, without any threat or fear of reproach, she is able to expose not only the intricacies of patriarchal oppression, but also offer alternatives to the existing structures of power and open up fresh perspectives on life at large. Since literature is a product of the forces of the socio-cultural institutions, women’s writings have often been a mirror to society, reflecting its diverse odds and ends. Women have spoken of their love, their passions, their deprivations, discriminations, subjugations, and even torture. At the same time, women have expressed their thoughts on politics, on the pangs and anxieties of colonial subjection, on the need for attainment of independence, the necessity of education, and such other concerns which engage the world and our environment. Thus, irrespective of the fact of whether they have a room of their own, a language of their own, or the requisite means to write, women have remained undaunted. They have put pen to paper and experimented with a range of literary genres to break the imposed silence and bring to light their experiences, aspirations, desires, and fantasies. Can women’s writings be looked upon as a call for equality and justice? Are women’s writings reminders of silences that have been broken? The relevant sub-areas include

  • Women and Patriarchy
  • Women and Self-expression
  • Women and Nation,
  • Women and Politics
  • Women and Partition
  • Women and Education
  • Male authors and Women
  • Women and Non-fiction
  • Contemporary Literature and the Woman Question
  • Women’s Journeys across time
  • Women’s Writings and Translation
  • Femininity and Utopian / Dystopian Fiction
  • Women and Media
  • Women and Popular Literature