14 June, 2021

‘Gender Is Race: Women Are A Separate Race’

Migrations, languages, genes...even the colour of brides. From Kerala to the Caribbean. Writers Peggy Mohan and Nalini Natarajan discuss a radically new way to analyse discrimination against women.

‘Gender Is Race: Women Are A Separate Race’

The Caribbean and India. Two places on opposite sides of the planet. Columbus mistook one for the other, yet that’s not the only reason why we take them as key sites from which to uncover a silence in history: on gender. That is, to try and produce a gendered history via race and migration. An interesting cross-connection between the two locales is forged here between the interlocutors. Nalini Natarajan, professor, author and cultural critic, has Tamil as her mother tongue, was raised in Delhi, taught at Miranda House, got her PhD in Scotland, but now lives and teaches in Puerto Rico half the year. Peggy Mohan, writer, linguist, and music teacher at a school in Delhi, was born and raised in Trinidad, West Indies, did a PhD on Caribbean Bhojpuri, and made a reverse journey to one part of her roots. Nalini and Peggy first met when they shared an office as teachers at Jawaharlal Nehru University, back in 1980. Filtering their unique perspectives, both have mined themes revolving around migration, diasporas and gender in their books: Peggy...

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