ania loomba and ritty a. lukose
South Asian Feminisms
Contemporary Interventions
ESSAYS, originating in a conference held at
the University of Pennsylvania, presents recent interventions in
key areas of feminist scholarship and activism in South Asia.∞
Over the last four decades, the various nations in this region—
India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Afghanistan
—have been the location as well as the focus of important femi-
nist work that has contributed to rethinking colonial and post-
colonial history and literature, law, culture and the nation-state,
domesticity and the family, religious and ethnic identities, sex-
ualities, and labor relations. South Asian Feminisms builds upon
this legacy as it engages complex new challenges to feminist
theory and activism that have emerged in recent years. Our
contention is that such feminist engagements in this region
(with its long-standing and cross-cutting histories of colonial-
ism, nationalism, and women’s movements, as well as contem-
porary struggles around sexuality, religion, human rights, war,
peace, globalization, and contemporary iterations of empire and
the exploitation of labor) can productively enrich the larger
horizon of feminist theorizing. Thus the volume attests to the
specificity of diverse South Asian locations and concerns, while
also staging a dialogue with other attempts to rethink the central
question of ‘‘di√erence’’ within contemporary feminist theory
and praxis.
Recent developments in postcolonial South Asia have re-
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