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Discrepant Dislocations: Feminism, Theory, And Postcolonial Histories

by Mary E. John

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Book Description
Mary E. John investigates the metaphor of dislocation within and across two specific "locations"--the United States and India--in this epistemological inquiry into the production of theory in general and the grounds of feminist ethnography in particular. She probes a set of distinct but related themes: the lines of tension marking U.S. feminism, especially as foregrounded by women of color; the inescapable complexities of feminist theory and practice in India; and the traffic--in theory, feminists, and women--between the two contexts. Emphasizing the discrepancies in the dislocations articulated by feminists unequally affected by the West and its power, John explores issues of displacement and otherness in contemporary culture. She also raises compelling questions of how location impacts and is impacted by theory.
As an Indian scholar schooled in the United States, John works as an "anthropologist in reverse," a "participant-observer" in the world of North American feminist theory. Her argument ranges widely, encompassing profound readings of theorists from Freud to Gayatri Spivak, Hortense Spillers to Aida Hurtado, as well as feminist theorists in India. By focusing on concepts of displacement, travel, and reterritorialization and by reaffirming a politics of location, John visualizes an alternate internationalism in our rapidly globalizing world.

From the Inside Flap
"I know of no other work which so carefully poses and interrogates the question of 'postcolonial feminism'. . . . Highly original in conception and execution, Discrepant Dislocations radically refigures current feminist ethnography."--Kamala Visweswaran, author of Fictions of Feminist Ethnography

"A major work of feminist cultural critique. Mary John writes with grace, candor, and a modest but extremely well-informed sense of the issues at stake in the politics of location for feminist, historians, anthropologists, and postcolonial critics. . . . John forges a position for herself, and by implication for other Third World women, that challenges sanctioned ignorances and opens up a new terrain for feminist theory."--Ruth Behar, coeditor of Women Writing Culture

About the Author
Mary E. John is an independent scholar living in Hyderabad, India.



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