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The GendV Project

Urban Transformation and Gendered Violence in India and South Africa
Sanjay Srivastava

Watch Prof Sanjay Srivastava speak about his article for Taylor & Francis: ‘Thrilling Affects: Sexuality, Masculinity, the City and ‘Indian Traditions’ in the Contemporary Hindi ‘Detective’ Novel’ from Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. You can watch the video below, or read the full article here.


Article Abstract:

'This essay investigates the sexual cultures of contemporary Hindi-language ‘detective’ novels by focusing on the writings of one of India's biggest-selling authors, Ved Prakash Sharma. Sharma's novels are usually available at railway stations and bus stands, as well as bookstalls in the poorer localities of north Indian cities. The essay suggests that the sexual motif in the novels sits alongside an unstated discourse of ‘Indian traditions’ – such as brahmcharya (celibacy) and ‘the stable Indian family’ – and that this discourse is established both through narratives within the novels, as well as techniques that lie outside them, such as the author's letter to readers that prefaces each novel. The silent presence of ‘Indian traditions’ forms the ground upon which engagements with consumerist modernity – marked by goods, technologies and transnational connections – is predicated. The pleasure and ‘efficaciousness’ of the novels lie in the constant relay of choices between the world of globalized consumerist modernity and ‘traditional’ morality.'

By Sanjay Srivastava, Taylor & Francis Interventions Journal, 13 November 2013.