This course is designed to explore the nexus between the social construction of gender, embracing the concept of nation and its ideology within colonial, nationalist and postcolonial contexts. Using a variety of historical and theoretical material, this course will address how sexual differences operate in various contexts such as colonialism and nation building, etc.
The course is focused upon giving an understanding as to what gender is and how it impacted Western political thought on ideological formations of the nation, and how these ideologies were encountered by colonies of Western powers with reference to South Asia. To interlink gender ideology and national context, the course will expose how gender as the primary principle of social organisation impacts culture and society.
At the end of this course, students should be able to:
• Explain gender as a social construction that governs social order
• Explain the historical evolution of sexuality and its impact on nation building and nationalism
• Analyse the hierarchical orders of South Asian societies which generates set of exclusions within the context of formation of ideologies
1. Conceptualising gender
2. Historical evolution of gender and culture
3. Nexus between gender and society
4. Emergence of western political theories and gender ideology
5. Class formation and gender
6. Nation and gender
7. Gender and colonialism
8. Gender and post- colonial discourse
Midterm Test or Assignment 30%
Final Exam 60%
Abeykoon, A .T. P. L. (1995) ‘Sex Preference in South Asia: Sri Lanka an Outlier’, Asia Pacific Population Journal. 10(3)[online]
Bandarage, A. (1998) Women and Social Change in Sri Lanka, Colombo: Karunaratna & Sons.
Barkty, S. L. (1990) Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression, London & New York: Routledge.
Chatterjee, P. (1989) ‘Colonialism, nationalism and colonized women: the context in India’ in, American Ethnologist 18: 662-83
Chatterjee, (1990) ‘The nationalist resolution of the women’s question’, in K. Sangari and S. Vaid (eds) Recasting Women- Essays in Indian Colonial History, New Brunswick & NJ: Rutgers University Press.
De Alwis, M. (1994) ‘Towards a feminist historiography: reading gender in the text of the nation’, In N. Wickramasinghe and R. Coomaraswamy (eds) Course Description to Social Theories, New Delhi: Konark Publications.
De Alwis, M. (1999) “Respectability”, “modernity” and the policing of the “culture” in colonial Ceylon’, in A. Burton (ed.) Gender, Sexuality and Colonial Modernities, London & New York: Routledge.
De Beauvoir, S. (1970) The Second Sex, Translated and edited by H. M. Parshley, London: Jonathan Cape.
Hobsbawm, E. J. and Ranger, T. O. (1983) The Invention of Tradition, London: Cambridge University Press.
Jayawardena, K. (1986) Feminism and Nationalism in the Third world, Colombo: Sanjiva Books.
Yuval-Davis, N. (1998) Gender and Nation, London/Delhi: Sage Publications