Lucinda Ramberg, "Clinical Encounters and Citizenship Projects in South Ind ia"Lucinda Ramberg, "Clinical Encounters and Citizenship Projects in South Ind ia"http://www.haverford.edu/calendar/details/259481KINSC Hilles 109 2014-02-06T16:30:002014-02-06T18:00:00
February 6,2014 4:30PM–6:00PM
KINSC Hilles 109
Distinguished Visitor Lucinda Ramberg, A ssistant Professor, Anthropology & Femin ist, Gender, Sexuality Studies, Cornell University
"Dedicated to the South Indian goddess, Yellamma, devadasis are healing priests whose non-monogamous sexuality has been designated “prostitution” and subjected to eradication by the state. Based on ethnographic research, this talk considers devadasis and their cultivation of bodily practice and selfhood in two ways as they cross the threshold of the modern clinic, (1) as ‘vectors of disease’ and (2) as sex worker ‘peer educators.’ I do so in order to problematize the contours of bio-political citizenship in postcolonial India. If bio-political citizenship describes the way the state takes hold of devadasis in order to reform bodies in the name of public health, dedication poses a different way bodies become materialized in social life through the claim of devi Yellamma. I juxtapose these two technologies of person-making and modes of embodying power as a means to mark the limits of secular social scientific terms of recognition and livability." Lucinda Ramberg
Lucinda Ramberg is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and in the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Program at Cornell University. She is a medical and sociocultural anthropologist and interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersection of several fields including feminist, postcolonial and queer theories; religion and secularism; medicine and the body; and South Asia. She is the author of Given to the Goddess: South Indian Devadasis and the Sexuality of Religion (Duke University Press, 2014) and co-edited of Conjugality and Beyond: Sexual Economy, Citizenship, and the Martial Form in India (Women Unlimited Press,2014).
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