Life narratives and the sculpting of gendered trans-regional East African Asian memories.
The talk will focus on experiences of women migrants from the Indian subcontinent to East Africa from early 20th century onward. There are very few official records available, and hence, a reconstruction of their life histories is largely predicated on biographical accounts and fictional narratives that are derived from familial memories. It becomes crucial therefore to take cognizance of the problematics of retrospective interpretation, and the use of memory as a ‘sculpting’ device.
Mala Pandurang is Professor and Head of Department of English, at Dr. BMN College, Mumbai (affiliated to SNDT Women’s University). She has been a postdoctoral fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Bonn), recipient of the Charles Wallace Trust grant for in-UK research, and Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Texas, at Austin. She is the reviews editor of the Journal of South Asian Diaspora (Routledge) and series editor of Postcolonial Lives (Brill). Most recently, she completed a Major Research Project funded by the University Grant Commission of India (UGC) titled ”Wives, Mothers, and Others. A Socio-literary reconstruction of migration experiences of women from the Indian subcontinent to East Africa ( 1890 – 1960)".