Your Valuable Resources

Sunday, November 24, 2013

De-Stereotyping Ex-Centric Identities in a Few of Mahesh Dattani’s Plays in the Light of Performativity by Shyamolima Saikia

De-Stereotyping Ex-Centric Identities in a Few of Mahesh Dattani’s Plays in the Light of Performativity by Shyamolima Saikia

Gender, today, is not seen as a creation of different properties of bodies but is a creation of social behaviour and practices. Since at least the 1970s, anthropologists have described gender categories in some cultures which they could not adequately explain using a two-gender framework. Simultaneously, feminists began to distinguish between (biological) sex and (social/psychological) gender. Contemporary gender theorists usually argue that a two-gender system is neither natural nor universal. A sex/gender system which recognizes only the following two social norms has been called "heteronormative". Queer theory, for instance, includes a broad range of theoretical possibilities that mainstream feminism has not been able to accommodate. It is a structuralist approach to the analysis, documenting, history and understanding of human sexuality, particularly interested in forms of sexuality that fall outside of the so-called heterosexual norm. It raises definitional and ontological questions concerning what it means to be bisexual, gay, lesbian or straight. To “queer” becomes an act by which stable boundaries of sexual identity are transgressed, reversed, mimicked, or otherwise critiqued. “Queering” can be enacted on behalf of all non-normative sexualities and identities as well, all that is considered by the dominant paradigms of culture to be alien, strange, unfamiliar, transgressive, odd—in short, queer (Buchanan, 394).

De-Stereotyping Ex-Centric Identities in a Few of Mahesh Dattani’s Plays in the Light of Performativity
Michel Foucault’s work on sexuality anticipates and informs the Queer theoretical movement in a role similar to the way his writing on power and discourse prepared the ground for New Historicism. Foucault’s work sought to find out both how and why human sexuality came to be treated as an item of knowledge and the cultural and political implications of the attempt to make it knowable. In general, Foucault’s work shows that power exerts itself by creating regimes of inclusion and exclusion. Heavily influenced by the work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Judith Butler, and Lauren Berlant, queer theory builds both upon feminist challenges to the idea that gender is part of the essential self and upon gay/lesbian studies' close examination of the socially constructed nature of sexual acts and identities. Whereas gay/lesbian studies focused its inquiries into "natural" and "unnatural" behaviour with respect to homosexual behaviour, queer theory expands its focus to encompass any kind of sexual activity or identity that falls into normative and deviant categories. Queer theory's main project is exploring the contesting of the categorisation of gender and sexuality; identities are not fixed – they cannot be categorised and labelled – because identities consist of many varied components and that to categorise by one characteristic is wrong.

The insights provided by recent developments in theory can show the diverse aspects and hitherto unexplored layers, for instance, the complex nature of contemporary Indian subjectivity as a multidimensional construct. Literary theory, which is broadly speaking anti-foundationalist and anti-essentialist, has in recent years moved away from outmoded terminology and increasingly employed the term “subject” in place of “self”. The term “self” assumes  the idea of  Unitarian identity, of identity as something unique, coherent and autonomous but the term “subject” is relatively open and marked by difference as it takes into account various socio-political, linguistic and cultural factors that constitute subjectivity. The subject is no longer regarded as a definite, coherent and fixed construction but as a flexible structure open to change, moulding and remoulding by a variety of factors. Subjectivity thus can be examined as to how it is fashioned by language, discourse, power, culture and ideology (Saini 10-11). Based in large part on the writings of Michel Foucault, Judith Butler and other late twentieth-century theorists, early modern subjectivities have come to be considered as provisional and performative cultural constructs and subject performance in the early modern theatre has been and continues to be widely theorized as perpetually created and redefined in complex relation to socio-political and discursive pressures. Yet the poststructuralist concept of the universally discontinuous subject has proved problematic as regards to “subjects” who have been marginalized or excluded from official culture, whether premodern or postmodern. Judith Butler herself in Bodies that Matter cautioned against the uncritical enunciation of a theory that upholds non-essentialist subjectivities and identifications without an attendant exploration of the ideologies of exclusion that initially gave rise to those structures (Viviana et al. 87-88).

Writers like Dattani try to uncover the excesses and repressive forces behind the construction of the notion of gender by the media, the families, the courts, literature and art.  His characters represent especially the marginalised sexualities who struggle for some kind of freedom and happiness under the oppressive weight of tradition, cultural constructions of gender and repressed desire. He is mainly concerned with the “invisible” issues in Indian society. For instance, homosexuality which is a taboo issue, is brought out of the closet and placed onstage for public viewing and dialogue. Classification of sex in terms of biology or ascribing connotation to words in terms of logic or grammar as masculine, feminine and neuter that produces the gender system has not categorized homosexuality under another independent gender. The biological and grammatical classifications exclude the real relations in conformity to the ideology that govern the system of relations among human beings in the society. Dattani by portraying a life of indignity, exclusion and repression of the sexually deviant marginalised people, usually set aside as perverse by authors and dramatists, challenges the heterosexual normativity considered normal in our culture. Since contemporary Indian drama is very complex and employs the latest technique and innovative themes, its critical evaluation also calls for fresh critical analysis in the light of modern literary theory. The aim of this paper is to interrogate such ex-centric identities as depicted by Dattani, with special reference to Dance Like a Man (1989) and Seven Steps Around the Fire (radio play for the BBC, 1998) in the light of recent theory, particularly Judith Butler’s theory of performativity.

Judith Butler revisits the question of identity from a somewhat different position but one which is situated within the Derridean and Foucauldian territories of Poststructuralism. Butler is also influenced by Lacanian psychoanalysis, phenomenology, structural anthropologists and speech-act theory, particularly the work of John Searle in her understanding of the “performativity” of our identities. A good example in speech-act theory is  what John Searle terms illocutionary speech acts, those speech acts that actually do something rather than merely represent something. A common example is the “I pronounce you man and wife” of the marriage ceremony. In making that statement, a person of authority changes the status of a couple within an intersubjective community; those words actively change the status of that couple by establishing a new marital reality: the words do what they say. A speech act can produce that which it names, however, only by reference to the law or the accepted norm, code or contract which is cited or repeated and thus performed in the pronouncement (Felluga,pars.1-2). She also links gender with linguistic performativity .She explores the ways in which linguistic constructions create our reality in general through the speech acts we participate in every day. By endlessly citing the conventions and ideologies of the social world around us, we enact that reality; in the performative act of speaking, we  incorporate that reality by enacting it with our bodies, but that “reality” nonetheless remains a social construction (at one step removed from what Lacan distinguishes from reality by the term, “the Real”).In the act of performing the conventions of reality, by embodying those fictions in our actions, we make those artificial conventions appear to be natural and necessary . All of these theories explore the ways that social reality is not given but is continually created as an illusion “through language, gesture, and all manner of symbolic social sign”(quoted in Felluga, pars.1-2).

The root of Butler's argument in Gender Trouble is that the coherence of the categories of sex, gender, and sexuality—the natural-seeming coherence, for example, of masculine gender and heterosexual desire in male bodies—is culturally constructed through the repetition of stylized acts in time. This is the way in which Butler famously theorizes gender, along with sex and sexuality, as performative. The performance of gender, sex, and sexuality, however, is not a voluntary choice for Butler, who locates the construction of the gendered, sexed, desiring subject within what she calls, borrowing from Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, "regulative discourses." These, also called "frameworks of intelligibility" or "disciplinary regimes," decide in advance what possibilities of sex, gender, and sexuality are socially permitted to appear as coherent or "natural." Regulative discourse includes within it disciplinary techniques which, by coercing subjects to perform specific stylized actions, maintain the appearance in those subjects of the "core" gender, sex and sexuality the discourse itself produces ( Butler 171-90). Foucault argued that speaking about sex is a way of simultaneously producing and controlling it; and since there can be no position outside the law, subversion of law also must take place within the existing discursive structures. It means that the dominant discourse of heterosexuality requires homosexuality to define itself and maintain stability.

Butler argues that the category of the subject is a performative construct and there are ways of ‘doing’ one’s identity which might trouble the neat binary oppositions of male/female, masculine/feminine, straight/queer etc. She claims that gender identity is a sequence of acts, but she does not mean that there is a pre-existing performer who performs these acts. However, this does not mean that there is no subject: it merely means that the subject does not come before these acts. She believes that sex, gender and sexuality do not exist in relation to each other. Generally, sex is seen to cause gender and gender is seen to cause desire, but Butler’s attempt is to show that gender and desire are not fixed but flexible. It is possible to be female by sex and yet display masculine traits. Gender, according to Butler is a “choice” .However, by “choice”, Butler does not mean that a subject is an entirely free agent who can select her/his gender; this is not possible because the choice of gender is always limited from the start. But she suggests that it is possible to “do” these constructions differently (2).

Thus, the idea that the subject is an effect rather than a cause lies at the basis of Butler’s theory of performativity. Gender then, according to Butler, is constructed and not naturally determined by sex. Further, questioning the distinction usually made between sex and gender, Butler says that both these categories are performative: Gender is not a noun but it proves to be performative, that constitutes the identity it is purported to be. Butler does not claim that gender is a performance. She distinguishes between performance and performativity. Performance presupposes a pre-existing subject; performativity contests the very notion of the subject. Since gender identities are constructed and constituted in language, there is no gender identity that precedes language. And if there is no identity outside language, the existence of an inner core or essence is thrown open to challenge. Butler suggests that gender acts are not performed by a subject, but these acts constitute the subject performatively. Gender is not what we are but what we do at particular times within the possibilities of discourses. Thus, any identity acquired through the repetition of expected acts is not truly coherent and stable. Its coherence and stability are only illusions and can be deconstructed to reveal their constructed nature. In fact, there are many performative acts which undermine the normative conceptions of sexual and gender identity, such as cross-dressing. Cross-dressing and other unusual experiments with sexuality lay bare the constructedness of sexuality and show that there are no fixities but ever-shifting differences in the field of sexuality. Butler suggests that certain cultural configurations which have come to seem natural in our culture are only effects of discourses. As such, these cultural configurations are not fixed and can be changed. Butler calls for action to change gender norms and the binary understanding of masculinity and feminity. Since there is scope for combining and recombining certain markers of gender and sexuality, gender is open to re-interpretation and resignification. Yet, even this subversion and re-signification will be determined by dominant discourses, since there is nothing outside discourses and therefore the freedom of choice is hopelessly limited. Yet, Butler is optimistic about the possibility of redoing gender identities to reveal the constructed nature of heterosexuality. She, thus, examines subjectivity on a performance axis, calling for subtle actions to subvert pre-existing gender norms gradually. She dismantles the last traces of the Cartesian self and inaugurates a conception of the performative subject as both free and unfree (Saini 65-66).

Indian society has always been phallo-centric one, steeped into stereotypes, where any deviation on the part of gender or sexuality is a source of ridicule or scorn. One always finds men to be at the zenith of power and hegemony, while the women remain at the background, either as a moral support to their men or as an innocent confidante, of course with certain exceptions. The son in the family is supposed to be the harbinger of peace and prosperity which is in tune with his traditional role of a protector and provider. Even today, the society, represented by these patriarchs, denies accepting any deviations on the part of a son .Thus, as Butler says, gender, along with sex and sexuality are performative. The collapse of the traditional world as it comes in conflict with the modern sensibilities is also Dattani’s perception of subversion of patriarchal stereotypes. Dance like Man is a play dealing with gender, through dance, one of Dattani’s principal passions. Dattani uses Traditional Dance as a medium that creates conflict in the play within the minds of the other characters. As the play goes forward and the actions take place, Dance takes the center stage and pushes the characters outside.  In India, people think that traditional dance is meant only for women and it is a realm in which no Male should ever tread. Here the question is not of mere dance form as a hobby but it has also very deep roots in our culture. It is about the whole conditioning of a Nation that boasts of having the most ancient cultural tradition. Here, dancers are identified as ones who have long hair, womanly gait and effeminate speaking style.

Dattani  in this play, puts a few unlikely questions about the sexual construct that a man is or the very constituents of a man’s identity-in terms of sexuality, as the head of the family and as an artist. The play deals with the self and the significance of the other, through the frameworks of gender and gender roles-the prostitute as a dancer and an artist; the man as a dancer; the guru who sports long hair and has an effeminate walk are categories that the older generation, fed on its perception of the self cannot come to terms with. The stereotypes of gender roles are set against the idea of the artist in search of creativity within the restrictive structure of the world that he is forced to inhabit. Jairaj with his obsession for dance is all set to dismantle these stereotypes. This is the twist that the playwright gives to the stereotypes associated with ‘gender’ issues that view solely women at the receiving end of the oppressive power structures of patriarchal society. The play removes this notion and explores the nature of the tyranny that even men might be subject to within such structures. Jairaj and Ratna live within such a structure: the domain of the patriarch Amritlal, Jairaj’s father. His antipathy to a great many things that concern the activities of his son and daughter-in-law draws the boundary lines for their behaviour within his sphere of influence. Dance for him is the prostitute’s profession, improper for his daughter-in-law and absolutely unimaginable for his son. He forbids Ratna from visiting the old devdasi who teaches her the intricacies of bharatnatyam; he cannot tolerate the sounds of the dancing bells that ring through their practice sessions; is astounded at the long-haired guru with an effeminate walk and cannot, most of all tolerate the idea of his son –a man- becoming a professional dancer. The underlying fear is surely, that dance would make him effeminate so that the suggestion of homosexuality hovers near, though never explicitly mentioned. And hence Amritlal must oppose, tooth and nail, Jairaj’s passion for dance. This clash brings about the play of property and money in deciding and manipulating the construction of identities that would conform, but the result is tragic. He makes a pact with Ratna. He will permit her career in dance only if she helps him pull Jairaj out of his obsession and make him a ‘manly’ man. The two can then enjoy the security of his riches (Chaudhuri 67-68). But the irony remains in Jairaj’s leaving his paternal house to carve a niche for his own but unfortunately he and his wife come back ‘defeated’. Amritlal accepts them but his acceptance is tinted. The authority of a patriarch is always in terms of his wealth for any transaction he makes, he always equates it with monetary aspects.

When Jairaj takes up Traditional Dance as a hobby and lifelong craze, he takes it as something that gives him pure delight. He never thinks of Traditional Dance as something that is ‘Proper’ only for women. This decision on his part, is brave and daring. He is perfectly convinced with the idea and allows Ratna also to dance. The radical act of Jairaj, having dance as a hobby, shows that he believed in carving a new path and had the ability and mettle to cling to it. He faithfully follows his hobby only to realize afterwards how he was used by Ratna joining hands with Amritlal. For Ratna Dance was a medium to gain popularity and status and for that she married Jairaj who would never stop her from dancing. Ratna’s selfish inner desire was so powerful that she cold-bloodedly plays with the emotions of Jairaj by misguiding him constantly. In the guise of a true life companion she deceives her husband and tries to curb his potential as a dancer. In order to fulfil personal aims she sacrifices Jairaj’s abilities. Ratna not only spoils Jairaj’s life but tries to mould her daughter Lata’s life also by making her a traditional dancer. In spite of being a Male member of the family, Jairaj never tries to command his authority over Ratna and instead, she very deliberately plays with his emotions. When Jairaj returns to his father’s house, Ratna dislikes it and she says in the play once “You! You are fine because you never left your father’s home and stood on your own two feet...” (105).Shockingly for the readers, Ratna herself discards Jairaj’s  Maleness openly and he accepts it without any offence. In the play Maleness of Jairaj was not so much a question of Body but that of mentality. For Ratna, Maleness might have meant one’s independent decision making power, doing the work that one liked, living on one’s own terms and conditions, standing on one’s own feet without any support which Jairaj lacked. Interestingly, even Jairaj was trying to prove himself an able MALE to Ratna and throughout the play Jairaj appears as one who suffers on account of choosing his own path, which was untrodden by others. His portrayal is so noble that he never blames Ratna for the death of their son Shankar that was the result of her carelessness or insincerity. Opposite to what is expected, it is not the woman but man who is targeted. In the play we witness the psychological manipulation of a man by his wife and father.

What therefore starts as a portrayal of staunch patriarchy in most of his plays opens up new domains of study, where Dattani subverts the norms to present the alternate views. Thus, what emerges is a new definition of masculinity not merely as an antonym of feminity but paving a way for men to break their “alpha roars” and do what they would perhaps like to. As Butler opines, it is possible to “do” these cultural constructions of sexuality. And as for the females, they can opt for a path of their own too, breaking their silence and the performative roles that they have always played, knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly (Mallick, par.33).

Dattani’s Seven Steps Around the Fire depicts a minority of hijras and the specific subjection of the community by the rest of the society. The Hijras of India are probably the most well-known and populous third type sex type in the modern world, whose population is estimated between 5 and 6 million. They are known differently as Aravani/Aruvani or Jogappa. They are often somewhat misleadingly called eunuchs in English. They may be born intersex or apparently male, who dress in feminine attire and generally see themselves as neither men nor women. The central concerns of Dattani’s play are set on uncertain ground that are hardly well-documented, given the stigmas attached to them-hence making  Uma’s academic exercise plausible while being sensitively humane. The eunuch community that inhabits tiny pockets of Indian cities occupy areas that are generally pushed aside to the fringes, the margins of society, as it were. This is literally no man’s land in many senses of the term, and no woman’s, either (Chaudhuri 63).The playwright plunges into the lived realities of these people, their struggle through scars, losses and indignity. The major character Uma Rao, wife of the Superintendent of police, daughter-in-law of the Police Commissioner and the daughter of the Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University is empowered enough to reach the inaccessible dens of the city, establish contact with ‘hijra’ heads in the pursuit of her research on the community. In the manner of the detective fiction the anxiety is built around a murder mystery, the murder of a beautiful eunuch, Kamla. Uma’s thoughts and fragments of tests of her dissertation available as voice in the radio medium attempts at documenting the origin of hijras. This is a pretext to create an “alternative historical narrative” to assure the subaltern a place in mainstream narrativization (Misra 190). Uma’s voice can be quoted here:
the term hijra, of course, is of Urdu origin, a combination of Hindi, Persian and  Arabic,   literally meaning ‘neither male nor female’. Another legend traces their ancestry to the Ramayana. The legend has it that God Rama was in the forest to cross the river and go into exile. All the people of the city wanted to follow him. He said, “Men and women, turn back.”Some of his male followers did not know what to do. They could not disobey him. So they sacrificed their masculinity, to become neither men nor women, and followed him to   the forest. Rama was pleased with their devotion and blessed them (239).

Dattani’s characterization of hijras like Anarkali, Champa, Kamla evoke sympathy while the begging and dancing hijra in groups draw human attention when they are treated as unwanted and abominable. A minister manages to have Kamla burned to death to suppress the fact of the secret marriage between his son Subbu and the hijra. But it was the minister’s son who used the hijra for his pleasure and was bringing him regularly to bed. The ‘invisible minority’ is denied visibility and used as a salt-lick by the wild and the powerful of the society. The Anarkalis are to be blamed, picked as scape-goats and tried for murder cases. The constable in the jail refers to ‘Anarkali’ not as ‘she’ but as ‘it’. Suresh, the superintendent of police thinks the hijras to be criminals, liers, dogs and castrated degenerate men (Misra 191). Munuswamy is highly amused at Uma’s reference to Anarkali as ‘she’, himself preferring the neuter ‘it’. He piously declares that a lady with antecedents  like Uma should perhaps look at more acceptable cases like “Man killing wife, wife killing man’s lover, brother killing brother...dowry death cases...’’(234).This is how, these ex-centric gender identities are constructed and constituted in language. Marginalized even in crime, the community Uma focuses upon and tries to investigate has grown around itself thick and impenetrable walls of incomprehensible myths and superstitions so that it may survive in its isolation. Like Munswamy points out, it would be ‘simpler’ and more ‘honorouble’ for Uma to study ‘mainstream’ crime. He menacingly informs Anarkali and her cellmates about Uma’s background –“the daughter-in-law of the Deputy Commissioner and the wife of our Superintendent”(235). Skillfully problematizing the components of identity for a woman in a given patriarchal setup, Dattani pits against Anarkali’s reaction whose own neutral ground has taught her to be wary of these very components. She is immediately on her guard and inaccessible- spitting venom and abuse, and in the process laying bare a number of unpalatable truths. Then she changes tactics and decides to use operating power situation to her own benefit by manipulating Uma to obtain her freedom, money (and even cigarettes!).The conversations that Uma has with Anarkali reveal many of the veiled truths that lie shrouded within the multiple layers of myths and cultural beliefs and at the same time problematizing relationships within accepted norms. While Suresh howls with derisive laughter at the idea of a ‘sisterhood’ of eunuchs, “They are all castrated degenerate men....” (238), Uma actually offers her own sisterhood to Anarkali, who pounces upon the idea to manipulate her way to freedom and also in turn exposes her: “You are the daughter-in-law of the DCP and you ask me what you can do to save your sister?(243).
Anarkali, the accused and Champa, the head hijra are symbols of the ambiguous spaces they occupy in terms of their suspect sexuality. By constraining and suppressing them, the outside world with its oppressive discourse of normative heterosexual behaviour shapes the subjectivity of these queer people, making them what they are. The result being that these victims begin to see themselves as abnormal. As Champa remarks to Uma: “ see us also as society, no?”(254).These subjects are trapped within the dominant discourse so that as Champa says: “We cannot speak...When we want to speak nobody listens...” (259). Champa snickers at Uma’s reference to her as ‘madam’, at the same time declaring that she was the mother/father of Kamla, the beautiful eunuch who was burnt alive. Their voices fill up much of the playing time without ever empowering them or arriving at any resolutions: the plot only thickens as it were. Meanwhile it is the absent presence of the dead Kamla that haunts the entire play. Dattani actually manages to portray a sense of tenderness and romance between Subbu and Kamla through the narrative of the eunuchs that arrives at the climax in the sensational suicide, of the denoument (Chaudhuri 64-65).Paradoxically they appear on the occasions of marriage and birth to entertain and bless whereas they themselves are deprived of marriage and birth. Their isolation is marked by warmth and sisterly feeling. Champa’s eagerness to save Anarkali from trial, her concern for Kamla in preventing her to be abused by the gay son of the minister, her managerial skill as the head hijra-all bear testimony to this. Dattani has a keen ear for the crude accent, filthy words uttered by the hijras and in particular their peculiar loud hand clap, making up those acts by which they are often identified. Uninvited they come to bless the newlyweds at the minister’s place. The minister asks the guards to throw them out. But on Uma’s request they are allowed to sing and dance (Misra, 190-191).

The play ends in Subbu’s suicide using, strategically, Suresh’s gun and the revelation by the hijras. Uma’s discoveries are however to come to naught with the world simply resuming where it had left off, with the subversives firmly pushed back to the margins and made invisible again. Uma, wife and daughter /daughter-in-law of respectable society will go back to her established world order with a telling comment: “They knew. Anarkali, Champa and all the hijra people knew who was behind the killing of Kamla. They have no voice. The case was hushed up and was not even reported in the newspapers. Champa was right. The police made no arrests. Subbu’s suicide was written off as an accident. The photograph was destroyed. So were the lives of two young people...” (282). Dattani deftly combines two gender concerns in this play-the woman as a lone fighter in multiple roles and yet empowered only derivatively,  using all possible means to fulfill her ends, juxtaposed with the extremely marginalized, ‘invisible’ groups of eunuchs of undefined sexuality who she tries to make contact with (Chaudhuri 66).

Thus, interrogation of the ex-centric identities in the two plays discussed above shows how certain subjectivities are marginalized within the heterosexual power structures and are trapped within its discourse, how these identities are both free and unfree, trying to subvert pre-existing gender norms. Whether it be an identity like a dancer subverting the construct of the male stereotype or a hijra, the society does not accept them for what they are and instead tries to alienate these identities as ex-centric through a complex web of discourses. At a time when, even after the decriminalization of homosexuality by the Delhi High Court’s 2009 verdict, the Indian government continues to be reluctant to take a definite stand on the issue, fearing it would go against the country’s cultural practices, a playwright like Dattani deserves kudos, for his works claim a place for marginalized people onstage and by extension in society. The plays of Mahesh Dattani  can be seen as conversations between the writer and his audience on models of reality, and  their performance can be interpreted as moments in subjectivization. Questions of gender, sexuality and identity are put across and the unspoken is voiced, the unseen made visible. In initiating an audience into redefining identity, Dattani provides the strictures within which problematizations may be re-examined and better understood. He also seeks to queer the debate on Indian middle-class morality, thereby challenging its privileged status and stressing the interconnection between repression and invisibility. The question for the audience is whether Dattani's plays can cue them into experiences of resistance and encourage them to reinvent narratives that may then function as personal histories.

Works Cited
  1. Anand, T.S.,ed., Shalini Gupta Associate. Trends in Indian English Literature. New Delhi: Creative Books, 2008.
  2. Brewton,Vince. “Literary Theory”. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 27June 2002.2Feb2012
  3. Buchanan, Ian. Oxford Dictionary of Critical Theory. 1st ed.New York: OUP,2010.
  4. Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Linda J.Nicholson.New York: Routledge,1990.
  5. Chaudhuri, Asha Kuthari. Contemporary Indian Writers in English   Mahesh Dattani  An Introduction. New Delhi: Cambridge,2005.
  6. Dattani, Mahesh. Collected Plays Vol two Screen, Stage and Radio Plays. New Delhi:Penguin,2005.
  7. Felluga, Dino. “Modules on Butler: On Performativity.” Introductory Guide to Critical Theory . 31Jan2011.2Feb2012 <>
  8. Gupta,Santosh., et al., eds. Rethinking Modernity. Delhi: Pencraft International, 2005.
  9. Iyer, N Sharda. Musings on Indian Writing In English vol3 (Drama). New Delhi: Sarup & Sons,2007.
  10. Mallick,Saptarshi “What a Man! Is he a man!” The Constructs of the Patriarchs and the Deviants: Re-framing Mahesh Dattani’s Where There is a Will and Dance Like a Man Impressions.vol.v issue II. July2011.2Jan2012  
  11. Misra,Dr.Chittaranjan. “Gay Themes in Dattani’s Plays.” Indian Writing in English Tradition and Modernity. Ed. Amar Nath Prasad & Kanupriya.1st ed.New Delhi: Sarup & Sons,2006.
  12. Oommen,Susan(2001). “Inventing Narratives,Arousing Audiences:the Plays of Mahesh Dattani. ” New Theatre Quarterly 17(2001): 347-356.
  13. Purvis,Tony. “Sexualities”. An Oxford Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism. Ed.Patricia Waugh. New Delhi: OUP, 2006.
  14. Saini, Alpa. “ The Construction of Contemporary Indian Subjectivity in the Selected Plays of Vijay Tendulkar, Girish Karnad and Mahesh Dattani”
  15. Saini, Alpa. “Negotiating the Ethical Crisis- A View of Contemporary Indian Drama”.9 Jan 2009.15Jan2012<>News and Society>Pure Opinion>
  16. Viviana, Viviana Comensoli; Jankowski, Theodora; and Reynolds, Bryan. “Subjectivity, Theory and Early Modern Drama.” Early Theatre.7.2 (2004).23Feb2012:87-119(paper). Article 5.

Shyamolima Saikia works as an Assistant Professor in English in the Centre for Juridical Studies, Dibrugarh University. She is also working as an Academic Counsellor in the Directorate of Distance Education,Dibrugarh University. She has presented papers in various national and international seminars.


Subscribe to
— journal that brings articulate writing for articulate readers.
CLRI is published online per month, in digital versions occasionally, and in print edition (planned to be quarterly), its print edition has ISSN 2250-3366.
Subscribe to our CLRI online edition. Our subscribers receive CLRI digital copies directly into their Inbox, get print copies free of cost whenever they come out during the subscription period, and are waived off any reading fee towards our print editions.
You can become our subscribers any time you prefer. To become a subscriber, visit: Subscriber to CLRI

No comments:

Post a Comment

Donate to CLRI Now!