Women, Subalterns, and Ecologies in South and Southeast Asian Women's Fiction

Title Details

Pages: 240

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 02/01/2022

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6088-1

List Price: $30.95


Pub Date: 02/01/2022

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6087-4

List Price: $120.95


Pub Date: 11/01/2021

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6089-8

List Price: $30.95

Women, Subalterns, and Ecologies in South and Southeast Asian Women's Fiction

The first ecofeminist examination of Asian fiction by women

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  • Description
  • Reviews

In recent decades, East Asia has gained prominence and has become synonymous with Asia, while other Asian regions, such as South and Southeast Asia, have been subsumed under it. The resultant overgeneralization has meant that significant aspects of the global ecological crisis as they affect these two regions have been overlooked. Chitra Sankaran refocuses the global lens on these two rapidly developing regions of Asia. Combining South Asian and Southeast Asian philosophical views and folk perspectives with mainstream ecocritical and ecofeminist theories, she generates a localized critical idiom that qualifies and subverts some established theoretical assumptions.

This pioneering study, introducing a corpus of more than thirty ecofictions by women writers from twelve countries in South and Southeast Asia, examines how recent global threats to ecosystems, in both nature and culture, impact subdominant groups, including women. This new corpus reveals how women and subalterns engage with various aspects of critical ecologies. Using ecofeminist theory augmented by postcolonial and risk theories as the main theoretical framework, Sankaran argues that these women writers present unique perspectives that review Asian women’s relationships to human and nonhuman worlds.

The intersections between ecophilosophical concepts from diverse parts of the world come through powerfully in Women, Subalterns, and Ecologies. This book is extremely effective in presenting important ecopostcolonial and ecofeminist literature from South Asia and Southeast Asia that is not, in many cases, likely to be familiar to Western readers.

—Scott Slovic, coeditor of An Island in the Stream: Ecocritical and Literary Responses to Cuban Environmental Culture

By balancing insightful close readings with sweeping overviews of Hindu and Buddhist philosophies and spatial, postcolonial, and narratological theories, Sankaran explains the redemptive nature of fictional narratives that incorporate regional literary, philosophical, and cultural traditions to understand the relationships between the human, animal, and nonhuman in the face of eco-disasters and climate crises. . . . Sankaran refuses to draw overly broad conclusions and instead offers nuanced, well-theorized readings of the political and social power dynamics, the narrative and ideological frameworks, and the political and environmental histories.

—K. A. Minerva, Utica University

Undoubtedly, Sankaran’s book is a formative contribution to the field of ecofeminist and ecopostcolonial literatures from South Asia and Southeast Asia.

—Vidya Sarveswaran, ISLE

About the Author/Editor

CHITRA SANKARAN is an associate professor of English at the National University of Singapore. Her field of study is ecocriticism using a Southeast Asian and South Asian corpus.