The Indian Ladies’ Magazine, published in Madras from 1901 to 1918 and from 1927 to 1938 by Kamala Satthianandhan, was one of the first women-edited periodicals in colonial India. Published in the language of the colonial rulers, it had as its intended readership women in both the East and the West. Deborah Anna Logan traces the magazine’s publication history, contextualizing it within the socio-cultural evolution of Indian women, from the Victorian fin-de-siècle British Raj and the Edwardian New Woman through the comparative militancy of the Quit India movement. This evolution, Logan suggests, implicated a particular class of Indian women, specifically those educated in English-language studies, either through their privileged economic circumstances or their access to Christian mission schools. Logan’s purpose is threefold: to examine the impact of The Indian Ladies Magazine during the crucial transition from the Raj to self-rule, to highlight the socio-cultural and political challenges that this period posed to newly literate Indian nationalist women; and to foreground a little-known but highly significant perspective on women’s participation in the literary and socio-political histories of India’s independence movement. The Indian Ladies’ Magazine, Logan argues, was unique in seeking to facilitate women’s meaningful participation in the incipient nationalist movement and encouraging them to take part in the articulation of Indianness during the period.
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Deborah Anna Logan is Professor of English at Western Kentucky University, USA.
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