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"The Emergency in Gestation": Gendered Lives of the Indian National Emergency, 1975-1977


Dr. Preeti Singh

Talk Description: The National Emergency (1975-1977), declared at the behest of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, is a widely memorialized event in Indian political, social, and cultural life. This talk situates the Emergency within its transnational gendered contexts and their iterations in Indian cultural politics. Reading a range of literary and cultural texts from the period, I argue that the Emergency, even as it was ongoing, was as much an aesthetic as it was a political crisis.  Speaker Bio: Preeti Singh is an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages at Dartmouth College. Her book project, Postcolonial Exceptions: Cultural Lives of the Indian National Emergency (1975-1977), examines literary and cinematic representations of the national Emergency declared by Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25, 1975. Preeti received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 2022 and her M.A. and M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Philosophy and Global Affairs, South Asian Review, The International Journal of Comic Art, the Journal of Drama Studies, Strange Horizons, and Raiot Magazine.


India focus