ISSN (Online): 2583-0090


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Rassundari Devi and Dayamadhav: The Mimicry and Self-Fashioning
Published On: 30/06/2022
Aritra BanerjeeAritra Banerjee,Visiting Lecturer,Derozio Memorial college
Aaheli ChatterjeeAaheli Chatterjee,Student,Bidhannagar Govt. College

The eighteenth century colonial Bengal required its women to be secluded in the inner areas of their household , the 'anthapur', to conform to the norms of the gendered narrative of the patriarchal, Rassundari Devi became a voice and mirror of the realities faced by women. In writing her story Rassundari not only exposes the fearful claws of patriarchy but through her transgressions of reading, writing and publishing brings forward the isolated female voice from the kitchen to the courtyard. These massive transgressions are although done under the faith that it in itself is a guidance from the higher power above, her father figure, her Dayamadhav. It is interesting to note how her Vaishnav Religiosity due to the absence of her biological father takes the form of a father archetype. The Godhead, Dayamadhav becomes her respite from fear in the absence of a parenting figure right from her childhood to her death. It is interesting to note that her intense quest to learning is justified by Rassundari herself as a process to progress into an intellectual dialogue which is far removed from the social constraints or imperative norms of the social setup of the eighteenth century Bengal. Her interaction with the Godhead develops a sense of Mimicry in the worshipper, Rassundari. This sense of mimicking her Dayamadhav helps Rassundari acquire a more so, uncanny power of foretelling , a power that makes 'thakurma' pious, holy in spite of her massive transgressions in the rigid, Patrilinear society. This paper stands as an enquiry into Rassundari's pychosexual development and her metamorphosis from her humane, physical existential self into a self with spiritual superiority, a Godly self.

Philosophizing Immunology in Select Feminist Dystopian Fiction on Sick Women
Published On: 10/10/2022

Simon de Beauvoir declared that woman is the “other”, contrary to man as the Absolute or self. The other-ization of woman is a recurrent patriarchal discourse, doubly visible when she is sick, vulnerable, and thus discriminated against. This is the gendered application of biopolitics on women by men as a method to subjugate them. Donna Haraway theorizes immunology as “dialectics of Western biopolitics” which requires the immune system to identify demarcations between self and the other. Metaphorically, patriarchal immune system does so by other-izing(autoimmunity) the female gender. Each act such as criminalization of abortion, poor investment in women's health infrastructure or sexual abuse is patriarchal immunological response against women. What men fail to understand isthat women are not outside social system as if like a virus, but within it. When men commit gendered violence it is not an immune but an autoimmune response. Likewise, female immune response to protect them from gendered violence is almost futile in real life, whereas in dystopian science fiction on sick women, the same is reversed. Immunity cells operate under Darwin’s principles where immunity adapts itself to the changing environment. Here women are empowered through sickness as they adapt to patriarchal discourses of subjugation. The aim of this paper is to explore female immunity in reality and literature, and to see how men treat women through the metaphor of immunology. We find that women in The Power and Parable of the Sower are sick and that is what empowers them. In Alderman’s The Power, women need to be sick to subvert gender politics and claim a space of their own. Women develop immunity to attack invaders (men) by their ability to electrocute. They can transfer their electrocution power to newborn girls (similar tovertical immune transfer of microbiota from mothers to infants). Lauren in Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower, suffers from “hyperempathy” (passive immune transfer), that makes her feel other's pain and thus her compassion and zest to protect her community. She establishes an Earthseed community when her gated community collapses into dystopia. Sick women are discriminated against in reality, where as sickness in dystopian science fiction is used as a trope to empower women.

Uncontrolled Pregnancy and Its Disastrous Consequences on Victims' Health and Their Social Prestige: A Study of Select Fiction of Thomas Hardy
Published On: 28/10/2022
Satyam KumarSatyam Kumar,PhD Research Scholar,University of Delhi

Uncontrolled pregnancy, which mostly occurred due to the lack of the means of pregnancy control, and in some cases due to the lack of control over one’s sexuality, had been a great cause of trouble among women in the Victorian society. It aroused many problems including the health-related issues and social imbalances such as the unexpected growth in population in the family among others. The present research paper focuses on the disastrous consequences of uncontrolled pregnancy on the lives of the suffering characters and their respective families in select novels of Thomas Hardy, where the health issues and social problems ensuing from uncontrolled pregnancy are analysed in detail. The present study deals with the man-woman relationship, with special reference to marriage and sexuality, in Hardy’s novels like Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure and Far from the Madding Crowd, and analyses the role of uncontrolled pregnancy in various social and health-related issues during the Victorian era. Thus, this paper aims at investigating the role of uncontrolled pregnancy in the downfall of the literary characters under study. It focuses on showing that how their lives would have been better, had they had full control over their sexuality and the proper means of pregnancy control and other relevant medical facilities available to them. The roles of some other complementary factors such as the educational and social backgrounds and the economic condition of the suffering characters and their families have also been analysed and interpreted to reach a conclusion.

Self without Stories: Rereading Fragmented Memories and Alzheimer’s Disease in Lisa Genova’s Still Alice
Published On: 30/10/2022
Gurpreet Kaur SainiGurpreet Kaur Saini,PhD English Research Scholar,Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University Delhi

Should the deprivation of the capacity to develop new stories or remember the existing ones render a person devoid of any claim to identity? Challenging the general perceptions that a person having Alzheimer’s disease eventually becomes incapable of developing or retaining a distinct self, in this paper I will be examining Lisa Genova’s novel Still Alice (2007) and arguing why there is a need to move beyond the simplistic categorization of Alzheimer’s patients as ‘initial victims’ and their caregivers as ‘other victims’. By rendering the invisible section of caregivers and patient visible along with attempts to map their journeys beyond the parameters of language, my study will problematize the idea of personhood. Unlike the contemporary metaphors employed in regard to Alzheimer’s disease which often conveys the sense of doom, fear and sometimes, as ticking of time bomb, my study will resist such negative associations and put forward an empathetic understanding necessary for recognition of identities that people form at different stages of their lives.

“Love is a sad thing when it ends”: Cinema as a Pharmakon in Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory
Published On: 31/10/2022
Aniket RoyAniket Roy,Visiting Faculty Member,Presidency University, Kolkata
Rebanta GuptaRebanta Gupta,Research Assistant,Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata

Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar’s films are often categorized by critics within the shifts of gendered violence, which speaks on the condition of Spain plagued with the ills of its past. This paper would like to discuss Almodovar’s film Pain and Glory (2019), taking into usage the Socratic idea of pharmakon, and would attempt to analyze the role of drugs which acts as both remedy and pain to the ailing protagonist Salvador Mallo, and how their interplay constitutes the role of memory, which serves as a textual phenomenon to the protagonist. The present idea would then take into consideration the notion of the writer’s sacrifice and like to discuss the idea of authorship and its authority involved in the fictional domain of Almodovar’s film and argue in detail how filmmaking strategies employed by the filmmaker himself meditate on the theory of fiction within the so-called fictional space itself. This paper would also like to delve into an analysis of the many intertextual cues apparent in his later works, to experience and understand how the role of cinema in Pain and Glory entails with it the idea to combat death and paralysis in the light of the auteur’s palpable suffering, creating a contradictory situation of authorial absence/presence.

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