Women’s Travel in 19th century Bengal, Femslash Fanfiction, and More With Dr. Swati Moitra

Mar 20, 2023


In this episode, cultural studies scholar Dr. Swati Moitra talks to us about reading cultures, women’s travel in the 19th century, and the subversive potential of femslash fanfiction.

‘In Perspective’ is The Swaddle’s podcast series where academics reveal little-known facts about Indian history, society and culture. 


00:01:03:11- In 19th century Bengal, what were the anxieties around ‘modern’ women travelers? And how did these anxieties make their way into popular writings and art at the time? 

00:11:15:04- How did the travel writing of Kailashbashini Debi enable her to claim a voice in public space and advocate for the restructuring of domestic life?

00:19:15:18- How did communitarian reading groups in colonial Bengal assert the importance of reading as a leisurely practice for Bengali women? And how did this shape the ideal of the Bengali bhadra mahila (the ideal, chaste woman)?

00:29:00:20- How has print culture been impacted by the changes in contemporary reading cultures? 

00:34:43:19- What do instances of enforcement of morality tell us about society’s discomfort with women being in public?

00:39:35:22- What is femslash fiction? How can we understand it in the context of Indian popular culture? Can subcultures like femslash contribute to queer visibility in India? 


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