Assistant Professor of Literature Pavitra Sundar recently co-edited a special issue of the journal South Asian Popular Culture.
Focused on “Masculinities,” the issue emerged from conference panels organized by Sundar and her co-editor, Praseeda Gopinath of Binghamton University, over the last two years.
Sundar said that for both the panels and this collection, she and Gopinath assembled papers spanning a wide array of media, regions, and languages in the Indian subcontinent. “Bollywood film stars, Hindi detective novel heroes, and WhatsApp vigilante activists all come under scrutiny,” she noted.
In their theoretical introduction to the volume, the editors argue that the literary and cinematic representations in the special issue demonstrate that there is no singular, hegemonic masculinity in India. They contend that questions of class, caste, mobility, and language are crucial to understanding the many ways of “being a man” or “doing masculinity” in our contemporary moment.