On the Edge...

This month, Women Unlimited will release At the Cutting Edge: Essays in Honour of Kumari Jayawardena, edited by Neloufer de Mel and Selvy Thiruchandran. This significant collection of essays honours Kumari Jayawardena, a pioneering South Asian feminist scholar, activist and social scientist. Contributors explore topics and contemporary debates that resonate closely with Jayawardena’s work on gender, nationalism, race and class. They offer a rich compendium of critical thought on issues of identity, culture, human rights, and gender and the state. The essays are by Uma Chakravarti, Kumkum Sangari, Nancy Fraser, Valentine M. Moghadam, Radhika Coomaraswamy, Laksiri Jayasurya, R.S. Perinbanayagam,Aloysius Peiris, Malathi de Alwis, Sheila Rowbotham, Romila Thapar and Maithree Wickramasinghe, eminent scholars all.

A critical engagement with nationalism and its linkages with gender, class and ethnicity has animated much of Jayawardena’s work. Her pioneering book on Third World feminism and nationalism showed that feminism was not a western import and that its existence and growth in emerging post-colonial nation states was distinctly related to their modernising impulses. Importantly she paved the way for an understanding of Third World feminisms as varied and rooted in regional, historical and cultural specificities.

Many of the essays in this volume are in dialogue with this initial post-colonial feminist phase and take it as a point of departure to explore several issues that animate current feminist activism and scholarship. As such they locate it at the cutting edge with its promise of both abrasion and vision.

Under WU Titles on our site. Hardback, 328 pages, Rs 450, ISBN: 81-88965-37-5