Author: Neloufer De Mel
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8186706410
This book explores the development of nationalism in Sri Lanka during the past century, particularly within the dominant Sinhala Buddhist and militant Tamil movements.
Tracing the ways women from diverse backgrounds have engaged with nationalism, Neloufer de Mel argues that gender is crucial to an understanding of nationalism and vice versa.
Traversing both the colonial and postcolonial periods in Sri Lanka's history, the author assesses a range of writers, activists, political figures and movements. With her rigorous, historically located analyses, de Mel makes a persuasive case for the connection between figures like stage actress Annie Boteju and intellectual Anil de Silva; poetry written by Jean Arasanayagam or Tamil revolutionary women; and political movements like the LTTE, the JVP, the Mothers' Front, and contemporary feminist organizations. Evaluating the colonial period in the light of the violence that animates Sri Lanka today;, de Mel proposes what Bruce Robbins has termed a "lateral cosmopolitanism" that will allow coalitions to form and to practice an oppositional politics of peace. In the process, she examines the gendered forms through which the nation and the state both come together and pull apart.
SETTING THE STAGE, GENDERING THE NATION
John de Silva's Nationalist Theater and the Entrance of Annie Boteju
FRAMING THE NATION'S RESPECTABILITY
Anil Marcia de Silva's Rite of Passage
A QUESTION OF IDENTITY
Jean Arasanayagam's Landscape of the Nation
AGENT OR VICTIM?
The Sri Lankan Woman Militant in the Interregnum
MOTHER POLITICS and WOMEN'S POLITICS
Notes on the Contemporary Sri Lankan Women's Movement