Title Effeminism: The Economy of Colonial Desire
Binding Paper back
Book Condition New
Jacket Condition Not issued
Size 1.3 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
Publisher Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press 2011
047203488X / 9780472034888
Seller ID 0000047
The "femininity" of colonized territories and subjects has provided Orientalist narrative with its most abiding metaphor for the exoticism of the East, and rape has served as the most enduring paradigmatic trope for colonial relations. Revathi Krishnaswamy argues, however, that this ravishment is often more about emasculating a male than about possessing a female. She suggests that the real goal of this feminization of colonized territory is actually effeminization--a process in which colonizing men use women and womanhood to delegitimize, discredit, and disempower colonized men. Uncovering an intricate nexus of race, caste, class, gender, sexuality, nation, moral legitimacy, and economic/political power--a nexus Krishnaswamy terms "effeminism" -- this study establishes the homosocial dynamics of colonial desire. A fascinating study of "the inevitable intimacy between colonizer and colonized," Effeminism: The Economy of Colonial Desire attempts to chart the flow of colonial desire by examining the complex encodings of fears, fascinations, and anxieties in the works of British writers in India. The author examines the works of Flora Annie Steel, Rudyard Kipling, and E. M. Forster, and finds their works to be deeply implicated in the politics of colonial rule and anticolonial resistance. Krishnaswamy refuses to characterize the colonial encounter in terms of unchanging and monolithic Manichean oppositions, repeatedly drawing attention to fissures, contradictions, and slippages that attend the production of English manliness and Indian effeminacy. By restoring both the political in the unconscious and the unconscious in the political, the book proposes to understand colonialism in terms of historical failure, ideological inadequacy, and political contention. Revathi Krishnaswamy teaches in the Department of English, San Jose State University.
India-History-British occupation, 1765-1947; India-Politics and government-1765-1947; English literature-19th century-History and criticism; English literature-20th century.