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Silliman, Jael.

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Calcutta, Seagull Books Pvt. Ltd. , 2001. Cloth, 8vo, x, 198 pages. Includes illustrations, references & index. 23cm. An invaluable cultural document shaped from personal exploration, through the lives of four generations of Baghdadi Jewish women, of a social and cultural history of Baghdadi Jews in Calcutta, India. The author discovers, through the lives of her fore-mothers, how, despite being widely dispersed across Asia, they 'dwelled in travelling', creating a moving geography of Baghdadi Jewish culture. We see how they negotiate multiple identities, including that of emergent Indian nationalism, and how they perceive and shape their Jewishness and their gender in response to changing cultural and political contexts. This book also traces the trajectory of a Jewish presence in one of the most hospitable cities of the Diaspora. These rich family portraits convey a sense of the singular roles women played in building and sustaining a complex Diaspora in what Silliman calls 'Jewish Asia' over the past 150 years. Her sketches of the everyday lives of her foremothers-from the social and political relationships they forged to the food they ate and the clothes they wore-bring to life a community and a culture, even as they disclose the unexpected and subtle complexities of the colonial encounter as experienced by Jewish women. Contents include: Acknowledgements Preface : Narratives of Diaspora; 1. Introduction : Indian and Colonial Frames; 2. Farha : Crossing Borders, Maintaining Boundaries; 3. Mary : Coming Home to the Mound of Olives; 4. Flower : Meeting India at the Midnight Hour; 5. Jael : Indian Portrait, Jewish Frame; & 6. Conclusion : Dwelling in Travelling. Silliman, born into the Baghdadi Jewish community of Calcutta, was educated at Loreto House, a Catholic school in Calcutta, and later at a boarding school in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. A scholarship took her to Wellesley College. She continued her graduate studies at Harvard University and the University of Texas at Austin, and received her doctoral degree in International Education at Columbia University. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Women's Studies department at the University of Iowa. Her publications include the co-editorship of Dangerous Intersections : Feminist Perspectives on Population, Environment and Development and the forthcoming Sex, Race and Surveillance : Feminist Perspectives from the US, as well as numerous articles in the area of gender and economic development, and third world women's movements. ISBN: 8170461987. (SEF-50-8) SEF7. Bookseller Inventory # 11164

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