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Remembering Women in South Asian Partition Narratives

Between Agency and Victimhood: Remembering Women in South Asian Partition Narratives (Sayma Khan)

This project analyzes the nexus between the changing media and approaches towards representing South Asian Partition – starting from non-literary representations of Partition in political speeches, newspaper articles, advertisements, then moving on to the literary medium of short stories and novels in the vernacular and finally to English novels spanning more than six decades – together with the emergence of women’s partaking active roles in mediating Partition. The aim of the dissertation is threefold: a) to analyze how far women depicted in the selected narratives act as victims or agents; b) to investigate what narrative techniques and structures are used to characterize women in Partition narratives and to analyze the idiosyncrasies of their depiction in Urdu and English Partition narratives; c) to examine how the perception and (transcultural) memories of Partition and particularly the representation of women in Partition narratives have changed through time.