Book Description

Review ?This book is an indispensable reference for those interested in challenging the traditional discourse of national, imperial, and postcolonial histories. This engaging interrogation of the seductive efficiencies of the English language in India, from a postcolonial feminist perspective, turns the way we conceive of the language of the colonizer, in effect, inside out.? - Kristin Hutchins, Women?s Studies'The Sexual Life of English poses a significant challenge to modern Indian history, which has tended to take the links between language and culture and the gendered colonial self for granted, when engaging the latter at all. From now on, it will be impossible to grapple with liberalism, education, women, domesticity, class and caste, conjugality, nationalism, sexuality, and so much more without reckoning with Shefali Chandra's cogent, subversive arguments.'?Antoinette Burton, author of Empire in Question: Reading, Writing, and Teaching British Imperialism'Shefali Chandra's rethinking of cultural theory and modern Indian history is remarkable. Her major thesis, that Indian English has a brutal and loving social history of sexualization, will set a model for analogous studies in other national traditions. Her breakthrough argument is that English acquisition produced male cultural authority through the installation of biosexual difference. The point, then, is not the phallogocentrism of English as English but rather the installation of a 'native' phallogocentric power in the processes of colonization and postcolonization. All those who have found wanting the orthodox position in the historiography of subaltern studies will find The Sexual Life of English an exhilarating read.'?Tani E. Barlow, author of The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism Read more About the Author Shefali Chandra is Assistant Professor in the Department of History, the International and Area Studies Program, and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Read more