At home in the world? The gendered cartographies of globality.
The worldwide flows of people, commodities, and ideas through war, trade, sexual traffic (including marriage), colonialism, exploration, and pilgrimage, and often through enforced servitude like slavery and indentured labor have, as we know, occurred for many millennia, predating the rise and the dissemination of the modern, post-Enlightenment institution of the nationstate. Janet Abu-Lughod's work on the oceanic articulations of a globe that predated the emergence of European preeminence, and Amitav Ghosh's on the traffic between Egypt, the Malabar Coast, and Aden in the twelfth century, provide ample evidence, were any required, of the antiquity of transregional and transcontinental modalities of identification, travel, and commerce. (4) However, the scale and nature of these movements changed with modernity's twin projects of colonialism and nationalism, which have-- through their technologies of production and dissemination-- transformed previous notions of community, mobility, and belonging. These have in turn transformed our older understanding and experience of local, regional, and global processes and affiliations. As Khachig Tololyan points out, the nation-state, which has achieved a certain global ubiquity as the most legitimate and emotionally charged form of political community and political rationality, representing One people and One law, claims, from the nineteenth century on, a new relationship to communities of (normatively male) indigenes, citizens, and diasporic subjects. (5)
The issue of the national and now, more recently, the issue of the transnational, has singularly powerful resonances for scholars of gender and sexuality. But although a good deal of the extant work on nationalism is conspicuous for its engagement with feminist questions and methods, there is as yet some critical inattentiveness to the gendered coordinates of diaspora and its cognates. (6) In the last decade, we have seen a proliferation of single-author texts and edited volumes on discourses and histories of globality. The topic of intellectual production in particular has been a charged one, yoking together discussions of the operations of a late-twentieth-century global capitalism with data on the emergence of migrant intellectuals in the Anglo-U.S. academy and producing a significant volume of scholarly material on questions of interest, affiliation, and responsibility. Yet there is a relatively small body of work, especially monograph-length work, on the profoundly gendered character of these phenomena. (7) This is not to say that there is not some critical consensus, although it is often parenthetically acknowledged, about the differential (and occasionally unpredictable) insertion of various gendered subjects and constituencies into the relays of globality, diaspora, and national citizenship. In his prefatory remarks to a well-known essay on contemporary deployments of diasporic discourse, James Clifford notes, in a confessional moment that is-as these moments inescapably are-at once abject and self-exculpating, "I have begun to account for gender bias and class diversity in my topic. More needs to be done here, as well as in other domains of diasporic complexity where currently I lack competence or sensitivity." (8) This stutter in the face of the irreducibly gendered character of the discourses of diaspora is the more marked for diaspora's analytic proximity with the question of nationalism; indeed, an entire section of Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan's 1994 volume, Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity a nd Feminist National Practices (which seeks to reverse the myopia I have just described), is devoted to the question of the gendering of nations and of nationalisms. What is true for diaspora studies in general is no less true for scholars of particular diasporas. Scholars who work on South Asian materials (with which this essay will concern itself for the most part) have devoted no inconsiderable attention to such questions as the diasporic production of postcolonial intellectuals and postcolonial studies; the (re)production of South Asian cultures in North America and Britain among the children of immigrants from the subcontinent; immigration, law, and racial taxonomy; and the political economy of the Indian state in the aftermath of economic "liberalization," that is, the globalization of the Indian economy in the early 1990s. (9) Several historians have, in addition, provided carefully detailed accounts of the immigration histories of the several South Asian diasporas to North America (in the early part o f this century and in the post-1965 period), Britain (from the eighteenth century on), Fiji, East Africa, Southern Africa, and the Caribbean. (10) Yet there is a comparative dearth of work that deploys a specifically feminist lens upon the issues. There are to date few handbooks to supplement Scattered Hegemonies, which continues to function as one of the principal texts for scholars of feminism and transnationality, or to take up the editors' challenge to "rework the terms of theory and practice of gender across cultural divides" (p. 28). Ella Shohat's Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in a Transnational Age is one of the very few to take on the critical concerns of that earlier volume.
In this article I examine these two significant general statements on gender, nationalism, and diaspora, along with several texts that substantiate their generalizations with a focus on a more specific diaspora: the South Asian one. These texts combine an interest in detailing the specifically gendered character of women's experiences of globality with a consideration of the ethical implications of various modes of transnational practice. Their engagement with questions of power, constituency, and accountability are simultaneously and irreducibly a rumination on what might constitute a globally discerning (rather than a simply well-intentioned) feminist ethics.
It might be useful to begin with Between the Lines: South Asians and Postcoloniality, a volume that combines a general exegesis of the crisis of the migrant postcolonial intellectual with a consideration of a particular history of migration. Part of the value of Between the Lines, edited by Deepika Bahri and Mary Vasudeva, is the way in which it permits an interrogation of the profoundly vexed relation between the institutions of Postcolonial studies and feminist studies and the fact of middle-class South Asian migration to the First World. In fact, it showcases interviews with three South Asian feminist intellectuals teaching in New York-Meena Alexander, Gauri Viswanathan, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak-on these questions; these interviews, along with a long essay by Deepika Bahri, constitute one of the fullest extant discussions of migrant/diasporic production and postcolonial studies. (11) What it underlines is that it is precisely the conjuncture of this immigration with the "rise" of what is today design ated, however waveringly, as postcolonial studies that has been the source of significant unease. It has led in recent years to the growing consensus that the institutional emergence and consolidation of postcolonial studies (in terms of its visibility in scholarly production, curricular development, and academic hiring) is something of a shameful if not sinister fact, to be noted and censured with a certain fervor. While the well-known critiques of the postcolonial by Ella Shohat and Anne McClintock do not necessarily impugn the field in terms of the geographic provenance of (some of) its practitioners-their quarrel, rather, is with the adequacy of the term "postcolonial" to denominate a globe not fully decolonized-however, most of the field's most visible critics have damned it for its co-implication (by virtue of its location in the Anglo-U.S. academy) with the workings of global capitalism. (12) Aijaz Ahmad's In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures is the most elaborate of such critiques, and it is notab le for its damnatory coupling of postcolonial studies not just with the fact of middle-class South Asian immigration to the United States but also with the ascendancy of anti-humanist approaches to Continental philosophy and to the project of the Enlightenment. (13) Even a scholar like Spivak, who has long been committed to the critique of humanism that Ahmad finds so distasteful, proffers a critique of middle-class migrancy to the First World in terms that are at times remarkably close (although markedly more attentive to questions of gender) to Ahmad's own. Such debates form a significant horizon for the essays in Between the Lines, although the volume also particularizes and extends them in ways that are worthy of note.
Between the Lines (especially the three interviews and the essay mentioned above) advances in often admirable ways our current understanding of the field and its locations. For instance, Bahri's insistence that postcolonial studies scholars learn to give to the precolonial past the same careful scrutiny that they bring to the analysis of colonialism is a much-needed word of admonition to the field. (14) In keeping with current trends in postcolonial theorizing, the volume rehearses some dissatisfaction with the term itself as unduly celebratory (the "post" is understood here through the relatively straightforward temporal logic of "progress") and as inadequate to the heterogeneities of the postcolonial condition. This is largely the provenance of the editors' introduction; a reading such as this not only omits-as Stuart Hall has noted-a consideration of the ironic and shifty logic of the prefix but also makes little attempt to illustrate how such a charge can be substantiated through a consideration of the sc holarship in the field. (15) But the greater dissatisfaction is produced by a variant of the diasporic scenario detailed above. The field is deemed to have become altogether too popular to lay claim to any radical charge, and the language of a capitalist marketplace is pressed into admonitory service to describe its "rise": "[I]ncreasingly, the business of postcolonial discourse is business--the booming Otherness industry threatening to dissolve any radical charge in the field" (p. 12). Here, as in so many other texts of and on postcoloniality, the term "postcolonial" appears to function as a disparaging epithet rather than as a descriptor; it is not overstating the case to assert that such texts constitute an increasingly large proportion of what comes out under the banner of postcolonial studies. How might we understand such a characterization of the field, which is as deeply lugubrious as it is disdainful? These anxieties about institutionalization are familiar, in some respects, from the similar agonistic struggles in the Anglo-U.S. academy of feminist studies in the 1980s and queer studies in the 1990s; I will ask readers to keep these analogies firmly in mind as we examine the crisis (of conscience) of postcolonial studies. Among the discontents of migrancy that the interviews and essays rehearse is the sense of a certain tension between academic work and what, for want of a better term, we can denominate as representativeness or as activism; this too is familiar to us from the history of feminist studies in the academy. (16) The concerns of the critics of postcolonial studies are not to be trivialized; I will consider them at some length in my examination of the interviews. But they underscore what might seem to be a paradoxical fact, given their profound interest in questions of power and privilege: they have no robust conception of power, especially institutional power, and how this might be appropriately deployed (rather than simply rejected) either in local or in transnational contexts. Having conceive d of themselves as perpetual academic guerrillas, they have no thoughtful, serviceable, and unsentimental response to what is, ironically, the dismaying fact of an ostensible success and institutionalization. It is not too acerbic, I hope, to read in this melancholia a desire for a perpetual avant-gardism that repudiates its locutions and formulations when they come to have a certain purchase in the academy. A perplexed reader might even be tempted to see the self-romanticization and self-marginalization that underwrites these indictments as no less pharisaical or self-aggrandizing than the reproaches about the privileged diasporic genesis of the field. (17) (This is not to indict self-aggrandizement as such; I take it to be inescapable, and this review is not exempt from it. But one must be exceedingly careful about deploying it as a term of opprobrium.) If a narrative of the questionable "progress" of the field (a "progress" that can be mapped in terms other than the trajectories of individual scholars or i ndividual feminists) is to be persuasive, it has to account at least for some of the institutional and/or disciplinary changes that the field has either disabled or made possible. It also must ask itself what the objectives and limits of the field/discipline are. What, postcolonial and feminist critics might profitably ask themselves, constitutes a periphery or a margin, and how might it be distinct from what Spivak has named as a self-consolidating Other? Can such distinctions indeed be made in advance or can they be read off through a rather circumscribed "politics of location"? In the name of whom or what is intellectual and institutional power wielded? How are the forms of academic power articulated with and yet distinct from other forms of social power? Unless we are wedded to an entirely utopian conception of the objectives of the field, we might also wish to scrutinize somewhat more carefully just what might constitute the ethical forms of arrival or success, and what might be at stake in the desire to uncouple institutional authorization from postcolonial studies. To be politically and analytically meaningful this relation between power and traditionally disenfranchised constituencies and areas of study must be thought by scholars of globality beyond pious gestures and confessions of class privilege. In this regard the field has many lessons to learn from feminist scholarship's staging of its own crisis of legitimation in the U.S. academy. (18)
It might be useful here to turn to Spivak, whose work has always been mindful of the difficult questions of feminist privilege in transnationality. To her credit, she has always had a stake in resituating and defamiliarizing some of the gendered contours of migrancy and transnationality. She concerns herself in this volume and elsewhere not just with the figure(s) of the expatriate, the immigrant, and the diasporic--she has always been emphatic in her insistence that the figure of the immigrant feminist critic in the metropolis not be construed as the paradigmatic figure of postcoloniality (19)--but also with those who "subsist in transnationality without escaping into diaspora." (20) Spivak's objective is to wrench the focus in studies of transnationality away from the analysis of popular public culture, military intervention, and the neocolonial practices of multinationals to "capital export and capital maximization," which can flourish independently of the migrancy of labor exemplified in the immigrant. Ch aracteristically, her focus is on those female subjects (neither migrant across national boundaries nor inserted into citizenship at the point of national origin) who are pressed into the service of a globality that is not necessarily visible as such. Spivak's work functions as a bracing caution against the casual transposability of terms like "diaspora," "immigration," "transnationality, and "globalization." (Always attentive to the paleonymy of terms in current usage, she repudiates the term "diaspora" as a historically accurate characterization of post-1965 middle-class South Asian immigrants in the United States.) It is invaluable, moreover, in drawing our attention to the profoundly dispersed--rather than the easily identifiable--character of some of these phenomena. And her work is useful for underlining the ways in which the transnational operations of global capital can transform the traditional function of the decolonizing democratic state from that of an apparatus of redistribution and remedy to tha t of an entity that enables the maximization of profit. (21) But this insight could well be supplemented with a less inexorable sense of the inevitable malignancy of such transnationality. I see no reason why her acute diagnosis of the "enabling violations" of colonialism should not be at least partially serviceable in the analysis of transnationality; (22) such an analytic lens might also make us more justifiably skeptical about the decolonizing state's exclusive potential--and its record--as an instrument of redistributive social justice for women.
Spivak reminds us of what has traditionally been unassimilable into investigations of diaspora, migration, transnationality, and globalization; "woman's relationship to each of these phenomena is oblique, ex-orbitant to the general story," she says. (23) The work of some feminist scholars on South Asian immigration into the United States responds in some ways to Spivak's analysis of the ex-orbitation of woman in migration. Annanya Bhattacharjee in particular focuses on the gendered character of the immigrant experience. Punning upon the character of the "twice-born" high-caste Hindu male, Bhattacharjee describes the bourgeois Indian immigrant community as a "twice-imagined nation," one that subscribes to the patriarchal imaginary of the Indian nation-state as part of the process of functioning as a "model minority" in an avowedly multicultural place of arrival. The figure of the bourgeois woman is a foundational element of this imaginary, consolidating through her purity and traditionalism the phallic self-su fficiency of the diasporic Indian male. (24) (This resonates to a certain extent with Arjun Appadurai's contention that the pressures of deterritorialization can often serve to exacerbate gender trouble, as "the honor of women becomes increasingly a surrogate for the identity of embattled communities of males.") (25)
But perhaps the most visible site of feminism's engagement with the discourses of globality has been the interrogation of the colonial provenance of some (metropolitan) feminist theory and policy, especially when it trains its lenses upon Third World women. If one could locate an originary moment for such a critique, it would have to be the publication (in 1981) of Spivak's "French Feminism in an International Frame," an essay that carefully delimits the blind spots of a well-intended Continental feminism that seeks to deploy the non-Western woman as a trope of difference. But the more influential essay has been Chandra Talpade Mohanty's "Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses," an excoriation of a strain of (Western and westernized) feminist work that reproduces, however unwittingly, the Olympian benevolence of the missionary position. (26) In it Mohanty draws attention to the ways in which the category "woman" can be deployed in the service of an unthinking ethnocentric universalis m that is heedless to historical and local particularities. It is an indispensable essay, and certain of its claims and strategies have constituted something of a model for many post-colonial feminists. But an unreflective reproduction of its own carefully considered emphasis on the local sometimes has the effect of frustrating rather than enabling an interrogation of unexamined privilege. Mary John's Discrepant Dislocations: Feminism, Theory, and Postcolonial Histories owes a considerable debt not only to Mohanty's work but also to that body of feminist work that has followed in its wake. She interrogates the spatiotemporal particulars of a Western feminist theory as a prelude to the establishment of an international feminism that is not predicated upon unexamined universalisms. In taking on this project she also rehearses some of the strengths and weaknesses of such endeavors.
Highlighting the global circulation of feminist theory and the vexed question of "location" for feminist endeavors, John's work seeks to address the complex and often uneasy traffic between the national ecumene and the transnational one. In the tradition of a reflexive feminist ethnography, she speaks of the project's embeddedness in conditions of postcoloniality, migration, and transnationality; it arises from, and provides a theoretical staging of, her situation as a feminist anthropologist raised in postcolonial India and engaged in graduate study in anthropology in the United States. The empirical fact of migrant voyaging serves as a kind of a trope for uneasy feminist encounter, although John is meticulous about noting the character of the "West" as a transnational category, "capable of extending beyond geographical determinations and creating new and specific loci of power/knowledge through the manifold processes of Westernization" (pp. 8-9). This trope comes finally to assume a disciplinary form: John writes the encounter of a (highly disseminated) West and the postcolonial feminist in anthropological terms. Anthropology yields three possible subject positions or, more properly, three scenarios which the postcolonial feminist might inhabit in relation to the West: immigrant, anthropologist-in-reverse, and native informant. The deployment of the framework of anthropology in such a context is a provocative move, not least because it anchors the discussion to specifically institutional and structural forms and because it troubles the conventional bearings and logic of the anthropological encounter.
John's first scenario for the encounter of postcolonial feminist and the West is denominated as "immigrant." The discourse of academic migrancy is, in the aftermath of colonialism, almost invariably Eurocentric; the immigrant is understood in terms of a politics of arrival in which the subject's entry into westernization is associated with "modernization, progress, and secularism" (p. 10). This immigration involves the putting on of certain kinds of knowledge (typically the universal, and universalizing, language of "theory") and the deliberate or unwitting cultivation of certain kinds of ignorance. John is careful to emphasize that she is not privileging "local" knowledges as against "universal" ones-"setting up a theory as either relative to its context or universal in its applicability is wrongheaded from the start," she insists (p. 37)- but she does suggest that the contexts of the emergence and applicability of theoretical universals (their "data-ladenness") be borne in mind at all times, so we see them as being at all times "situated" and "partial" (to borrow the terms favored by Donna Haraway and James Clifford in his The Predicament of Culture). (27) Their claims to universality are best tested in a mise-en-scene that is distinct from the contexts that produced them. All this is more or less unimpeachable, although it necessarily begs the question of what would constitute a careful and responsible mode of universalization or generalization, because generalization as such cannot be forsworn. Intellectual work cannot proceed only or primarily through the proliferation of particulars. Nor are the "contexts" of what is called Western theory always sell-evident; the insistence upon "a sense of historicity" (p. 72) must be set to work on both sides of the imperial/postcolonial divide. John's excavation of the travels of theory through close readings of two essays by Spivak and two texts by Freud speaks to some of the difficulties of the demand for specificity. John's reading of Spivak's "Deconstructing Historio graphy: Subaltern Studies" (one of the many preludes to "Can the Subaltern Speak?"), which she charges with marshaling a subcontinental subalternity as merely a particular instance of a more general deconstructive hermeneutics of undecidability, is one instance of this, because it is not clear why such a strategy should be self-evidently damning. it is with some pleasure, therefore, that one turns to her sympathetic and subtle reading of The Interpretation of Dreams, Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious, and Moses and Monotheism. But she would perhaps have been even better served had she elaborated just how Freud (or the gendered institution of psychoanalysis) might function in the colony or postcolony.
The scenario of "anthropology-in-reverse" permits John to provide a brief and necessarily limited overview of the contested and internally variegated terrain of U.S. feminism. She is incisive about the ways in which issues of race and class have all too often been designated as the special preserve of "women of color," although she is occasionally unnecessarily reproving (and occasionally mistaken) in her readings of the work of prominent white feminists such as Judith Butler and Diana Fuss. Fred Pfeil's scrupulous and venturesome critique, in Scattered Hegemonies, of the fetishization of U.S. feminists of color by white U.S. feminists (and the corresponding disparagement of the work of white feminists) comes to mind here as a much-needed corrective to such an account of feminism's terrain.
As "native informant," John produces a chapter that serves as an apt supplement to the preceding one. Returning to India, her place of departure, she traces the histories of the feminist movement (not just feminist academic work) in post-independence India. John's capacity to trace the broad contours of immensely complicated developments is very much on display here, although oddly, there is little of the critique of larger analytic categories that had marked her earlier chapters. One wishes, too, that she had been more explicit about the modes in which a postcolonial Indian feminism could be set to work in other contexts such as the U.S. one. Her contention that the category of the nation remains profoundly undertheorized in (white) U.S. feminism might offer one model of reversing what she describes as the one-way traffic of feminist theory; but this remains no more than an incipient possibility in the text.
The work of Grewal and Kaplan is also genealogically bound to the conventions of the Mohanty essay, although they are far more successful than is John about eschewing a nostalgia for the "local." In their introduction, they map the contours of feminisms practiced across national, regional, and cultural divides; and they ask how these might be practiced differently. They examine the gendered identities, economies, and cultures of diaspora, migrancy, transnationality, and modernity in a world that is irreducibly global but by no means "postnational." They are especially clear in their demand that feminists resist well-meaning articulations of "global feminism" by attending to rigorous comparative work, without however fetishizing the local, which is, as they astutely assert, extremely difficult to disentangle from the global. In so doing they exhibit a tough-minded (and rare) skepticism about nostalgic localisms and about the utopian possibilities of the transnational or the postnational.
The introduction establishes its project within current debates about postmodernism. Arguing that the term in the West is situated in the register of aesthetic production and is relatively oblivious to the global contexts within which postmodernism emerges and is manifest, the editors, in Scattered Hegemonies, seek to supplement this focus with an attention to the distinctions between "the aesthetic effects of postmodernism in contemporary culture and the historical situation of postmodernity" (p. 4). Underlining the inescapable complexities and historical particularities of postmodernity in different global locations, they seek to link the discourses of gender and/or feminist theory to global macroeconomies of production and distribution, patriarchal nationalisms and other forms of localized domination, and local claims to "tradition" and "authenticity." Their questions are thus articulated along two axes: "What kinds of feminist practices engender theories that resist or question modernity?... How do we und erstand the production and reception of diverse feminisms within a framework of transnational social/cultural/economic movements?" (pp. 2-3). In distinction to many postcolonial and U.S. minority feminist scholars, they refuse to dismiss the possibilities of postmodernity (which functions here as a kind of shorthand for the critique of humanism), discovering within it a crucial critique of modernity that is indispensable for postcolonial feminist work
That the challenges posed by the introduction are taken up unevenly by the essays that constitute the volume speaks to the difficulties of an analysis that is centered on subjects and intersubjective relations worked upon simultaneously by local, national, and transnational vectors. Two essays stand out, however, as noteworthy instances of what feminist scholarship on nationalism and the transnational might be. In a superb historical essay that is unusually attentive to the nuances of textual detail, Tani Barlow, in "Theorizing Woman: Funu Guojia, Jiating (Chinese Women, Chinese Family)," traces the emergence of the category Funu (Woman) in modem China, noting in this emergence the contours of a contest among the patriarchal kinship group, the modem state, and an international community of social reformers for exclusive claims upon women. Kamala Visweswaran's essay, "Betrayal: An Analysis of Three Acts," on the other hand, provides a reflexive staging of the complexities of a transnational ethnography. Her re ading of the lionization of feminist solidarities in the ethnographic encounter provides a more successful instance than John's of what a reflexive enactment of the gendered protocols of a discipline might entail.
Ella Shohat's Talking Visions revisits some of the concerns of the Grewal and Kaplan volume but with greater emphasis on the U.S. contexts of the transnational; indeed, the adjectival use of the multicultural in the title makes that fairly explicit. Shohat's objective, however, is to wrench the commonsensical and liberal deployment of multiculturalism away from its implicitly U.S. nationalist horizon, noting cogently that "[a] submerged American nationalism often undergirds such practices and epistemologies [of multiculturalism], giving us a star-striped nationalism with a tan, a nationalism in drag, and rainbow nationalism" (p. 39). She points out the converse as well-that U.S. postcolonial studies has failed to interrogate its relation to U.S. ethnic studies and has often had a tense relationship with the work of U.S. feminists of color. Such tension is often named as a quarrel over "theory." "Theory" in this instance is, I would argue, itself vectored through tropes of national identity and immigration; th e postcolonial critic, often foreign-born, is censured as the "model minority" immigrant figure who has assimilated poststructuralist theory as a condition of acceptance into a racist academic mainstream. Indeed, what is salutary about Shohat's introduction is that-despite a sometimes coarse criticism of the work of white feminists-it is in general scrupulous about pointing out some of these considerable difficulties in the path of a sororal politics for multicultural feminists. Noting the often conflictual mutual relations of minority communities, she clarifies the difficulties of "seiz[ing] on the possible mutual identifications among minoritized communities while also acknowledging that those on the margins have sometimes had to survive at each others' expense" (pp. 34-35).
Not all the essays in Talking Visions deliver on Shohat's promise to trouble the distinctions of the local and the global. Some of them (such as Coco Fusco's "We Wear the Mask") seem relatively anecdotal and slight. But at their best they demonstrate with counterintuitive panache the unexpected entanglements of the local and global traffic in commodities, practices, and bodies. Lisa Jones, for instance, has a delightful essay, "The Hair Trade," on the international harvesting, processing, and sale of hair to a female African American clientele for braiding and weaving. The complex racial allegory of a hair trade spread across Asia and North America is-as in Kobena Mercer's "Black Hair/Style Politics"--never entirely reducible to the categories of purity or naturalness as opposed to the synthetic. (28) Other essays in the collection demonstrate how sell-contradictory and troublesome it is to maintain the received pieties about the comparative culpability or innocence of our ethnically and nationally marked sel ves. In "Talking about the State and Imagining Alliances," Wahneema Lubiano describes in brilliant detail her encounters as a public intellectual with working-class African American women; these encounters demonstrate that subjects who experience racism, sexism, or relative poverty in the U.S. context need not necessarily oppose U.S. state power around the globe and might, in fact, even support it quite wholeheartedly and benefit from it. She underlines for us the disconcerting lesson of this encounter: "'Imagining alliances' . . . requires that we look carefully at the difficulties, at the obstacles to alliances; otherwise, the powerful attractiveness of alliance possibilities will hide the very pitfalls that frequently disrupt those alliance possibilities" (p. 442). Similarly, Caren Kaplan demonstrates (in "'Beyond the Pale': Rearticulating U.S. Jewish Whiteness") the limits of Michael Lerner's claims in the article entitled "Jews Are Not White." While she is resolutely attentive to the prevalence of anti-S emitism in the United States she also seeks to trace a North American history of the assimilation into whiteness of Jews of Ashkenazi origin following the Second World War. She recognizes the ways in which this Ashkenazi whiteness, however contingent, has been purchased through the excision of Sephardic cultural histories and through the support of a Zionism that ensures continuing Arab-Israeli conflict. Throughout she is profoundly mindful of the variegated contexts-historical, regional, national, and global--that traverse this extraordinarily vexed identity.
Kaplan's historically informed work is, like that of almost all the scholars discussed here, primarily focused on the post-1945 and late-capitalist identities that have resulted from various forms of global traffic. Antoinette Burton's At the Heart of the Empire: Indians and the Colonial Encounter in Late-Victorian Britain balances this focus on the contemporaneous by returning us to a different temporality of migrancy and feminist self-fashioning. She examines the trajectories of three Indian sojourners--Pandita Ramabai, Cornelia Sorabji, and Behramji Malabari--in Britain in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A scrutiny of Burton's work can serve as a useful corrective to the historical myopia of much of today's "globality talk" (to borrow Spivak's term), (29) which often fetishizes the late twentieth century (especially the post-cold war period) as uniquely marked by the processes of diaspora and globalization. Even so subtle a reader of contemporary configurations of globality as Arjun Appa durai tends occasionally to exoticize the late-twentieth-century present as a uniquely cosmopolitan and, indeed, "postnational" moment (even as he adds, a trifle weakly, that such a diagnosis is not necessarily meant to be laudatory): "Until recently, whatever the force of social change, a case could be made that social life was largely inertial, that traditions provided a relatively finite set of possible lives, and that fantasy and imagination were residual practices, confined to special persons or domains, restricted to special moments or places." (30) A more than casual interrogation of the history of even the last century underlines, on the contrary, the nebulousness of the definitions of the "local," the "national," and the "global" that fuel Appadurai's argument in the passage above. Attentive to the fissiparous character of the phenomena whose boundedness Appadurai takes as given, Burton underlines the double purpose of providing a contextually nuanced and substantially gendered account of diasporic s ojourning in the colonial period. In its excavation of three "temporarily diasporic voices" (p. 13) in late-nineteenth-century Britain, such an account contributes to the genealogy of a subcontinental diaspora "whose contemporary manifestations have received some attention but whose histories have yet to be written" (p. 73). It also functions as a provocation to insular historians of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain who, ironically, share with putatively radical scholars of the South Asian diaspora/migration the imagined geography of the "Island Story" (p. 9), believing that the South Asian (and Black) presence in Britain (whether in the shape of demographics or in less individualized and more disseminative forms) dates only from the post-World War II period.
Curiously enough for a project with such commendable ambitions, At the Heart of the Empire never clarifies the semantic, legal, and affective charge of a term like "diaspora" and its relation to associated but not identical terms such as expatriate, resident alien, traveler, refugee, or exile. Given that all three figures were long-term residents of the subcontinent, and that at least two of them-Ramabai and Sorabji-also sojourned for extended periods in other parts of the globe (to say nothing of their peregrinations within India), what might the analytic effectivity be of examining their British residence through the lens of diaspora? What is the exemplarity. moreover, of these three figures from the Bombay presidency of the 1880s and 1890s, given that there was a significant constituency of "Indians abroad" at this time, including M.K. Gandhi, Dadabhai Naoroji, Kadambini Ganguly, Sarojini Chattopadhyaya (later Naidu), the Begums of Oudh, and the Maharani Sunity Devi of Cooch Behar? Burton provides, in chap ter 1, a fairly thorough catalog of this community, although without enunciating the principles that grounded her choice of Ramabai, Sorabji, and Malabari. It could perhaps be argued that these three figures catalyze in particularly productive and diverse ways the desires and the limits of late-Victorian philanthropic benevolence, especially with respect to that particularly favored focus of such attention, the Indian woman. Ramabai was prominent in the project to uplift Hindu women, and she received funding and patronage from women's groups in the United States and from Anglican institutions in Britain; Sorabji, while emphatically not a self-identified feminist, was the sometimes reluctant beneficiary of philanthropic and missionary interest in Indian women; and Malabari was the avowed male champion of Hindu child brides and visited London in the hope of garnering support for the passage in India of the Age of Consent Act that would have raised the minimum age of marital consummation from ten to twelve years for child brides. Burton does not yoke together forcefully or consistently enough this question of gendered diaspora/travel with that of the Indian female object of gendered imperial altruism; occasionally, as in the instance of the chapter on Malabari, she seems to lose sight almost entirely of this braided cluster of concerns.
This having been said, Burton must be commended for her exegesis of the conundrums and complexities of residence in late-Victorian England for two purposeful and strong-minded women from the colonies who were often dependent on the financial support and goodwill of British reformers and philanthropists with notably Orientalist notions of the proper duties and capacities of Indian women. In a careful analysis that resonates quite powerfully with the work of Spivak, John, Grewal and Kaplan, Shohat, and other scholars of global feminism in the twentieth century, Burton notes that the relationship between Ramabai and her female mentors in England was "less a question of sisterhood than a struggle for authority--authority over which version of female reform would prevail in India" (p. 103). She details the ways in which Ramabai, as a rare high-caste Hindu convert to Christianity and a considerable Sanskrit scholar, was considered a prize by the Christian Missionary Society of the Anglican Church but was also caref ully disciplined and controlled by the church hierarchy. Sorabji, who was more financially constrained by her various benefactors, was also subjected to multiple and changing claims upon her person, her education, and her plans for the future.
Burton must be applauded for her insistence that the three figures who constitute the objects of her analysis were not simply "Indians abroad." Indeed, the chapter on Sorabji is admirably subtle about the immensely complicated relationship of her Parsi ethnic identity and her Protestant one to her putative Indianness and to the Englishness with which she strongly identified. Burton is also perceptive about the failures of ethnic-feminist solidarity among Indian women sojourners in Britain. Sorabji, for instance, was notable for her competitive hostility to other Indian women in Britain; she was inordinately anxious to conserve her status as a pioneer or even as a unique figure in the history of Indian women's education abroad. This anxious desire was perhaps only compounded by the greater fame of her contemporaries Ramabai and Rukhmabai (the latter had come into the public eye through her legal challenge, as a child bride, to her husband's conjugal rights). Despite the opportunities she had for friendship wit h Rukhmabai, who was studying medicine in London-a plan that Sorabji had envisaged for herself but had to abandon on the advice of her English benefactors--she was contemptuous, sometimes exaggeratedly so, of her. Burton astutely sees the metropolitan space of Britain as the theater for competitive jockeying among Indian women; in such a scenario the other woman from the Bombay presidency functions as an intimate enemy, as "Sorabji's shadow-one might even say her double" (p. 127).
Burton's excavation of the late-Victorian histories of gendered South Asian migrancy demonstrates some of the colonial trajectories of globality and serves to emphasize its distinctions (and its likenesses in terms of gender and class privilege) from its contemporary manifestations. It also reminds us to be wary of our easy conviction that we inhabit a capitalist temporality unmatched for its rapid globalization and its dissolution of national boundaries; leftist and neoclassical economic historians have pointed out that capitalism was at least as transnational before the First World War as it is in the present conjuncture. (31) Finally, it insists to us that all manifestations of globality are not necessarily self-evident but must be scrupulously and often counterintuitively learned. An attentiveness to these issues might serve to make our melancholic readings of gendered migrancy more historically responsible and analytically useful.
Parama Roy is associate professor of English at the University of California, Riverside, where she teaches postcolonial and Victorian studies. She is the author of Indian Traffic: Identities in Question in Colonial and Postcolonial India (University of California Press, 1998). She is cunently at work on a second book project, "'Talking the World upon the Tongue': Gender, Consumption, and Corporeality in South Asia."
(1.) I am not unaware of the quite distinct charges of terms like "globalization," "diaspora," "immigration," and "transnationality." In the interests of economy, I have used "globality" in the title as a portmanteau term for all these locutions of locality and situation; but I have striven for a more precise usage through the body of the essay.
(2.) Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, rev. ed. (London: Verso, 1991).
(3.) Peter van der Veer, ed., introduction to Nation and Migration: The Politics of Space in the South Asian Diaspora (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994); Arjun Appadurai, "Difference and Disjuncture in the Global Cultural Economy," Public Culture 2 (spring 1990): 1-23; and Homi Bhabha, "DissemiNation," in Nation and Narration, ed. Homi Bhabha (London: Routledge, 1990).
(4.) Janet Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony: The World System, A.D. 1250-1350 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989); Amitav Ghosh, In an Antique Land (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993). Also see Ammiel Alcalay, After Jews and Arabs: Remaking Levan-tine Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993); K.N. Chaudhuri, Asia before Europe: Economy and Civilisation of the Indian Ocean from the Rise of Islam to 1750 (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1990). See also Fernand Braudel, The Structure of Everyday Life: The Limits of the Possible, trans. Sian Reynolds (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), The Wheels of Commerce, trans. Sian Reynolds (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982), and The Perspective of the World, trans. Sian Reynolds (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984). Also Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Merchant Networks in the Early Modern World (London: Variorum, 1996); Subrahmanyam, The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1998); and Kenneth McPherson, The Indian Ocean: A History of People and the Sea (Delhi, India: Oxford University Press, 1998).
(5.) Khachig Tololyan, "The Nation-State and Its Others: In Lieu of a Preface," Diaspora 1 (spring 1991): 3-7.
(6.) A full bibliography of this scholarship is impossible to provide here; the following are some of the important statements on this topic: Andrew Parker et al., eds. Nationalisms and Sexualities (New York: Routledge, 1992); Anne McClintock, "No Longer in a Future Heaven," in Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Context (New York: Routledge, 1996); Kumari Jayawardena, Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World (London: Zed Press, 1986); Kumkum Sangari and Sudesh Vaid, eds., Recasting Women: Essays in Indian Colonial History (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1990); Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995); Deniz Kandiyoti, ed., Women, Islam, and the State (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991); Floya Anthias and Nira Yuval-Davis, Woman-Nation-State (London: Macmillan, 1989); Susan Jeffords, Hard Bodies: Hollywood Masculinity in the Reagan Era (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers U niversity Press, 1994); Lauren Berlant, The Queen of America Goes to Washington City (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997).
(7.) The following is a partial list of the recent work on this duster of issues: Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993); Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996); James Clifford, Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997); Timothy Brennan, At Home in the World: Cosmopolitanism Now (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997); Iain Chambers, Migrancy, Culture, Identity (London: Routledge, 1994); Pheng Cheah and Bruce Robbins, eds., Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling beyond the Nation (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998); Bruce Robbins, Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress (New York: New York University Press, 1999); Rey Chow, Writing Diaspora: Tactics of Intervention in Contemporary Cultural Studies (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993); Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts ( Durham: Duke University Press, 1996); Armand Mattelart, Transnationals and the Third World: The Struggle for Culture (South Hadley, Mass.: Bergin & Garvey, 1983); Frederic Jameson and Masao Miyoshi, eds., The Cultures of Globalization (Durham: Duke University Press, 1998); van der Veer; Aihwa Ong, Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality (Durham: Duke University Press, 1999); Saskia Sassen, Globalization and Its Discontents: Essays on the New Mobility of People and Money (New York: New Press, 1998).
(8.) James Clifford, "Diasporas," in Routes, 245.
(9.) Sucheta Mazumdar, "Racist Responses to Racism: The Aryan Myth and South Asians in the United States," South Asia Bulletin 9, no. 1 (1989); Susan Koshy, "Category Crisis: South Asian Americans and Questions of Race and Ethnicity," Diaspora (forthcoming); Tejaswini Ganti on bhangra in New York; Gurinder Chadha, dir., I'm British, But ... (NAATA, 1990); Chadha, dir., Bhaji on the Beach (First Look Pictures, 1993); Srinivas Krishna, dir., Masala (Divani Films, Inc., 1992).
(10.) Karet Leonard, The South Asian Americans (New York: Greenwood Press, 1998); Roger Ballard, ed., Desh Pardesh: The South Asian Presence in Britain (London: C. Hurst, 1994); Lavinia Dhingra Shankar and Rajini Srikanth, eds., A Part, Yet Apart: South Asians in Asian America (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998); Avtar Brah, Cartographies of Diaspora (London: Routledge, 1996); Rozina Visram, Ayahs, Lascars, and Princes: The History of Indians in Britain, 1700-1947 (London: Pluto, 1986); Michael H. Fischer, ed., The Travels of Deas Mahomet: An Eighteenth-Century Journey through India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997); John D. Kelly, A Politics of Virtue: Hinduism, Sexuality, and Countercolonial Discourse in Fiji (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991).
(11.) The investigation of such a nexus is not, of course, entirely novel. The two phenomena are linked by many commentators, with substantial correctness, to changes in U.S. immigration policy, and especially to the 1965 amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act which removed race, religion, and nationality as criteria for eligibility for immigration. This permitted a new wave of (postcolonial) South Asian immigration (and, indeed, immigration from other parts of Asia including China and the Philippines). This wave consisted--in contradistinction to the first (colonial) wave of immigration by a farming and laboring underclass in the early part of the century--largely of urban, English-speaking, middle-class, and professionally trained men (and their female relatives) from the subcontinent. In the last two decades, commensurably professionalized women have constituted part of this immigrant population. This is the pool from which many postcolonial critics in the First World are drawn. Yet the class com position of South Asian immigrants is not uniform; this is attested to in part by the numerous nonbourgeois occupations in which they play a prominent part. They function as taxi drivers, restaurant workers, newspaper vendors, nurses' aides, and gas station attendants. Besides, immigration to the United States sometimes results in downward mobility in class terms; it is not entirely anomalous to encounter immigrants with professional credentials from the country of origin laboring in nonprofessional occupations in the United States.
(12.) Ella Shohat, "Notes on the 'Post-Colonial,'" Social Text 31/32 (1992): 99-113, and Anne McClintock, "The Angel of Progress: Pitfalls of the Term Post-Colonialism," Social Text 31/32 (1992): 84-98. In her introduction to Talking Visions, Shohat has supplemented the critique of postcolonial studies proffered in "Notes on the 'Post-Colonial.'" Arif Dirlik has remarked that "the popularity that the term postcoloniality has achieved in the last few years has less to do with its rigorousness as a concept or with the new vistas it has opened up for critical inquiry than it does with the increased visibility of academic intellectuals of Third World origin as pacesetters in cultural criticism" ("The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in an Age of Global Capitalism," Critical Inquiry 20 [winter 1994]: 339). Also see Kwame Anthony Appiah, "Is the 'Post' in 'Postcolonial' the Same as the 'Post' in 'Postmodern'?" in In My Father's House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1 992); and Lata Mani and Ruth Frankenberg, "Crosscurrents, Crosstalk: Race, 'Postcoloniality,' and the Politics of Location," Cultural Studies 7 (May, 1993): 292-310. For an acute response to Shohat, McClintock, and Dirlik, see Stuart Hall's "When Was the 'Post-Colonial'? Thinking at the Limit," in The Post-Colonial Question: Common Skies, Divided Horizons, ed. Iain Chambers and Lidia Curti (London: Routledge, 1996), 242-60.
(13.) Aijaz Ahmad, In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures (London: Verso, 1992). The fact that his work has been so widely disseminated, reviewed, and made the occasion for heated, even hysterical, critical exchange underlines--even where his interlocutors have disagreed with him--that his ad hominem and ad feminam critiques have struck home for many a postcolonial critic. See, for instance, the essays by Partha Chattenjee ("The Need to Dissemble," 55-64) and Manjorie Levinson ("News from Nowhere: The Discontents of Aijaz Ahmad," 97-131) in the special issue of Public Culture devoted to a discussion of In Theory (vol. 6, fall 1993).
(14.) Spivak's turn to the Hindu dharmashastras in "Can the Subaltern Speak?"--a move that distinguishes her analysis of sati from Lata Maui's--speaks to the profound necessity of understanding the historical and conceptual limits of "the [colonial] invention of tradition." See Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" in Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, ed. Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988), 271-313; and Lata Maui, Contentious Traditions: The Debate on "Sati" in Colonial India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998). For a critique of Mani's methods as historian, see Sumit Sarkar, Writing Social History (Delhi, India: Oxford University Press, 1997); and Sheldon Pollock, "Deep Orientalism? Notes on Sanskrit and Power beyond the Raj," in Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament: Perspectives on South Asia, ed. Carol Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993). The term "invention of tradition" was popularized by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, eds., The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1992). For a notable new reading of "Can the Subaltern Speak?" see Sandhya Shetty and Elizabeth Jane Bellamy, "Archive Fever," diacritics (forthcoming, 2001.
(16.) On this issue, also see Hortense Spillers's critique of the guilt of Black intellectuals in "The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual: A Post-Date," boundary 2 21 (fall 1994), 65-116.
(17.) I have profited from a reading of Bruce Robbins's analysis of the institutionalization of intellectual work; see his Secular Vocations: Intellectuals, Professionalism, Culture (London: Verso, 1993). Spivak's "Can the Subaltern Speak?" remains, to date, the last word on the topic.
(18.) It might be no bad thing either to be reminded of the often heterogeneous global locations of the postcolonial critic; after all, the denunciation of the metropolitan scholar also ensures the fetishization of this immigrant figure. No matter what its point of geographical origin (the publication of Edward Said's Orientalism in the United States in 1978 is commonly acknowledged as an inaugural moment), postcolonial studies is now located in several venues, not just in the United States or the British academy; India is in fact a significant producer of postcolonial scholarship, as is the Caribbean (even though some scholars in those locations might disavow the term itself).
(19.) See Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, "Poststructuralism, Marginality, Postcoloniality, and Value," in Literary Theory Today, ed. Peter Collier and Helga Geyer-Ryan (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1990). This argument is repeated in A Critique of Postcolonial Reason (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), 356-421.
(20.) Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, "Diasporas Old and New: Women in the Transnational World," Textual Practice 10, no. 2 (1996): 245-69.
(21.) In his spirited advocacy of internationalism, Bruce Robbins notes that "nationalism is often couched as a defense of the welfare state, which is seen as a prime victim of the forces of capitalist globalization that internationalism is taken to reflect and abet" (Feeling Global, 6).
(22.) Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, "Bonding in Difference," in An Other Tongue: Nation and Ethnicity in the Linguistic Borderlands, ed. Alfred Arteaga (Durham: Duke University Press, 1994), 273-85.
(23.) Spivak, "Diasporas Old and New," 246.
(24.) Anannya Bhattacharjee, "The Habit of Ex-Nomination: Nation, Woman, and the Indian Immigrant Bourgeoisie," Public Culture 5 (fall 1992): 19-44. Also see Keya Ganguly, States of Exception: Everyday Life and Postcolonial Identity (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001).
(25.) Appadurai, "Difference and Disjuncture in the Global Cultural Economy," 19.
(26.) Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, "French Feminism in an International Frame," in In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics (New York: Routledge, 1988). Chandra Talpade Mohanty, "Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses," in Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism, ed. Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Ann Russo, and Lourdes Torres (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), 51-80.
(27.) Donna Haraway, "Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Principle of Partial Perspective," Feminist Studies 14 (fall 1988): 575-99. James Clifford, The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988).
(28.) Kobena Mercer, "Black Hair/Style Politics," in her Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies (New York: Routledge, 1994).
(29.) Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, "Cultural Talks in the Hot Peace: Revisiting the 'Global Village,"' in Casino politics: Thinking and Feeling beyond the Nation, ed. Pheng Cheah and Bruce Robbins (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998).
(30.) Appadurai, Modernity at Large, 53-54.
(31.) See, in addition to the work of Janet Abu-Lughod and K.N. Chaudhuri, the following: P.D. Curtin, Cross-Cultural Trade in World History (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1984); Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World-System I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Academic Press, 1974), The Modern World-System II: Mercantilism and the Consolidation of the European World-Economy, 1600-1750 (New York: Academic Press, 1980), and The Modern World-System III: The Second Era of Great Expansion of the Capitalist World-Economy, 1730-1840s (San Diego: Academic Press, 1989); and Andre Gunder Frank, Re-Oreint: Global Economy in the Asian Age (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998). For neoclassical accounts of pre-1914 traffic in commodities and labor, see the following: Alan M. Taylor and Jeffrey G. Williamson, "Convergence in the Age of Mass Migration," European Review of Economic History 1 (April, 1997): 27-63; Jeffrey G. Will iamson, "Globalization, Labor Markets, and Policy Backlash in the Past," Journal of Economic Perspectives 12 (fall 1998): 51-72; and Kevin H. O'Rourke and Jeffrey G. Williamson, "When Did Globalization Begin?" NBER Working Paper No. 7632 (March 2000), 1-54.
RELATED ARTICLE: BOOKS DISCUSSED IN THIS ARTICLE
Between the Lines: South Asians and Postcoloniality. Edited by Deepika Bahri and Mary Vasudeva. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996.
Discrepant Dislocations: Feminism, Theory, and Postcolonial Histories. By Mary John. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.
Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Feminist National Practices. Edited by Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994.
Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in a Transnational Age. Edited by Ella Shohat. New York: Museum of Contemporary Art; Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998.
At Home in the Empire: Indians and the Colonial Encounter in Late-Victorian Britain. By Antoinette Burton. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
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