1. J. W. Scott, Gender and the Politics of History; J. W. Scott, Feminism and His-
tory; Sangari and Vaid, Recasting Women; Abu-Lughod, “Can There Be a Feminist
Ethnography?” especially 11–12.
2. Tharu and Niranjana, “Problems for a Contemporary Theory of Gender”;
Agnes, “Redefining the Agenda of the Women’s Movement within a Secular
Framework”; B. Ghosh, “Feminist Critiques of Nationalism and Communalism
from Bangladesh and India.”
3. I use modernity to refer to a whole complex of practices, beliefs, and dis-
courses associated with “the dominant self-image of Europeans for almost two
centuries” (Abu-Lughod, “Feminist Longings and Postcolonial Conditions,”
7). Abu-Lughod herself draws on Berman, All That Is Solid Melts into Air, and
Rabinow, French Modern. According to Rabinow, it is quite impossible to define
modernity, but it is possible to track the diverse ways in which the insistent claims
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