"Reading Race and Gender in 'Mummy' and 'The Crooked Line': How authors of marginality represent Anglo-Indian women" By Dr. Dolores Chew, Marianopolis College, Canada


This paper explores the gender representations of Anglo-Indian women as they appear in the works of two iconoclastic Urdu language writers of the 20th century, Saadat Hasan Manto and Ismat Chughtai. Looking at context and their own subject position, the papers attempts to explore why the representations of these two writers are so completely different from the myriad others that exist. I.e. in their writings, Anglo-Indian women come across as admirable and deserving of emulation, quite the contrary from the stereotypical image of Anglo-Indian women as promiscuous and part of a community that is feckless and indigent.

Dolores Chew received her Ph.D. in History from Calcutta Universtiy. Her research explored the property and inheritance rights of Hindu women in Bengal, as they were constructed in the Anglo-Hindu legal system that was operative in nineteenth century Bengal. Her post-doctoral work began an exploration of gender representations of Anglo-Indians which continues to this day. She has a chapter "Slaves of Love: Anglo-Indian women and the mythologizing of sexuality" in a forthcoming anthology, Translating Desire:: Gender, Culture and Society in Contemporary India, edited by Brinda Bose (Delhi: Katha, 2002). Her other research is a comparative study of the contextual elements of legal reform pertinent to India -- 19th century and the contemporary period. Dolores Chew teaches History and Humanities at Marianopolis College in Montreal.