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Eugenic FeminismReproductive Nationalism in the United States and India$
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Asha Nadkarni

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816689903

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816689903.001.0001

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Regenerating Feminism

Regenerating Feminism

Sarojini Naidu’s Eugenic Feminist Renaissance

(p.65) 2 Regenerating Feminism
Eugenic Feminism

Asha Nadkarni

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter discusses nationalist feminist poet Sarojini Naidu’s speeches and nationalist poetry from the first part of the twentieth century up to Indian independence in 1947. In her work, Naidu challenged both patriarchal national and imperial feminist discourses by insisting that nationalist regeneration can only happen through the agency of Indian women. She posited the new bourgeois Indian woman as the model for a feminist modernity. Naidu sought to oppose in her political speeches that resurfaces in her pastoral poems a Romantic nostalgia that insists subalternity cannot be a part of the modernizing nation.

Keywords:   Sarojini Naidu, nationalist poetry, feminist discourses, bourgeois Indian women, subalternity, modernizing nation

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