Cover des Buches

Saha, Poulomi
An empire of touch
women's political labor and the fabrication of East Bengal
New York: Columbia University Press, 2019. - xvii, 319 S.
ISBN 9780231192095


I E 1243

Indien / Bangladesch / Frauenarbeit / Bekleidungsindustrie / Arbeitskampf / Antikolonialismus / Aktivismus / Geschichte 20. Jh.

In today’s world of unequal globalization, Bangladesh has drawn international attention for the spate of factory disasters that have taken the lives of numerous garment workers, mostly young women. The contemporary garment industry— and the labor organizing pushing back — draws on a long history of gendered labor division and exploitation in East Bengal, the historical antecedent of Bangladesh. Yet despite the centrality of women’s labor to anticolonial protest and postcolonial state-building, historiography has struggled with what appears to be its absence from the archive. Poulomi Saha offers an innovative account of women’s political labor in East Bengal over more than a century, one that suggests new ways to think about textiles and the gendered labors of their making. An Empire of Touch argues that women have articulated — in writing, in political action, in stitching — their own desires in their own terms. They produce narratives beyond women’s empowerment and independence as global and national projects; they refuse critical pronouncements of their own subjugation.