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Title: Where ‘peripheral’ becomes central : examining the transnational life and activism of shirin fozdar in the early twentieth century asia
Authors: Chua, Yi Lin
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: Feminist and women’s movements in Asia have been the subject of growing scholarly interest in the last two decades. A number of historians have taken a transnational approach to the subject and I will build on their work. Through examining the life and work of Shirin Fozdar, an ethnic and religious minority, we see how her peripheral place in local religious politics have become central, in shaping nationalist and women’s movements in the twentieth century. This paper seeks to examine Fozdar’s life, a Parsi, English-educated elite and follower of the Bahá'í religion. Her background as a racial and religious minority and how her lived experiences contributes to a more nuanced understanding of women’s movements in the colonial period. This will be examined in relation to how Fozdar’s activism was shaped by the longer history of women’s organising in India and her ability to draw on both secular and religious sources to promote critical discourses on gender issues. In addition, I will analyse her position on nationalism and citizenship and how it relates to women’s rights activism, and her representation at international conferences on women’s rights in the twentieth century. Studying Fozdar’s life reveals the inherent intricacies, subtle and discursive strategies that women’s rights activists in Asia have adopted to lobby for their cause, which are otherwise obscured when an institutional-level analysis was adopted.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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