In Gender, Genre and Power the authors cross the boundaries between anthropology, folklore, and history to cast new light on the relation between songs and stories, reality and realism, and rhythm and rhetoric in the expressive traditions of South Asia. The essays look particularly at the contexts in which expressible materials are shared and debated while paying close attention to the textual conventions that frame their complexity.
Arjun Appadurai, Frank J. Korom, Margaret A. Mills, and the contributors to this volume demonstrate that in the living traditions of folk representation in South Asia gender is richly debated and women's voices are as eloquent as men's. These materials show that there are many ways of telling history, many forms of reflexivity and irony, many tensions between history and mythology. Using methods derived from a variety of scholarly disciplines such as linguistics, musicology, philology, and anthropology, these studies show that gender and genre are mutually constituted in a culturally shaped set of discourses about power. Gender, Genre, and Power in South Asian Expressive Traditions is a vital contribution to studies in anthropology, folklore, religion, gender, and South Asia.