The Body Move: Revising Portuguese Female Poetry of the First Quarter of the Twentieth Century

Isabel Pinto

Research Centre for Communication and Culture (the Catholic University of Portugal), Faculdade de Ciências Humanas, UCP, Palma de Cima, Lisboa–Portugal.E-mail:

Volume 8, Number 4, 2016 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v8n4.05

Received August 25, 2016; Revised December 15, 2016; Accepted December 20, 2016; Published January 14, 2017


The first quarter of the twentieth century in Portugal was characterised by a series of important historical and political events: the Regicide (1st February 1908), the fall of the Monarchy and establishment of the Republic (5th October 1910), and the First World War (1914-1918). By this time, women could not yet vote and they were systematically ignored in the debate of crucial social issues. Therefore, the main question here addressed is how poetry as free embodiment can take part in a gender revolution, promoting the feminist turn. The answer lies in the consequent breakout of female sentimental literature, which entitled women to reveal themselves, by enabling the poetic scrutiny of their intimacy through a particular focus on the body as prime referent. In this way, they dared to expose dreams, desires, fulfilments and despairs, firming an identity pact through poetry, and engendering a collective voice with social meaning. The published poems here analysed convey the idea that being a woman was something valuable and unique, and, at the same time, manage to inscribe female poets such as Virgínia Vitorino and Zulmira Falcarreira in the Portuguese intellectual mainstream.

Keywords: twentieth-century poetry; women; gender; body; feminism.

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Semiotic Encryption of Women, Violence and Hysteria in Indian Women Dramaturgy

Praggnaparamita Biswas,  Banaras Hindu University, India

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The juxtaposing depiction of women, violence and hysteria as semiotic elements in women-centric play-texts attempts to translate the theatrical meanings because of its demonstrable approach to unearth the textual meanings and its relational politics of representation. From semiological aspect, the interplay of women, violence and hysteria generates a kind of semiotic femaleness in order to prognosticate the feminist route of cultural politics imbedded in the narratives of female composed drama. The present paper intends to analyze the semiotic transformation of Indian women dramaturgy in the plays of Padmanabhan, Mehta and Sengupta. Each of their plays tries to interpret new meanings hidden under the semiotic signs used by these playwrights and also attempt to project the gender politics visualized in the realm of feminist theatre.  

Ritualistic World of Tuluva: a study of Tu?uva Women and the Siri Possession Cult

Yogitha Shetty,University of Hyderabad

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The paper could roughly be divided into two sections: first provides a brief outline of Bh?t?r?dhane or the ritual-performance traditions of the Tulu-speaking region in the coastal region of Karnataka. Second offers an insight into the mass possession cult of Siri, which like the other rituals of Bh?t?r?dhane derive their referential script from the oral tradition of the land. Connected intricately with the Siri epic or p??dana, Siri rituals are performed annually in many places of the coastal region of Karnataka. During these rituals thousands of ‘afflicted’ women gather and get ‘possessed’ by the pantheon of Siri spirits. This paper is an attempt to delve into the emancipatory potential that this platform could offer women who participate every year, first as novices and then as adepts.

Mary Magdalene or Virgin Mary: Nationalism and the Concept of Woman in Bessie Head’s A Question of Power

Sayyed Rahim Moosavinia, Seyyede Maryam Hosseini & Shahid Chamran

University of Ahvaz, Iran

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Foucault believes that people live in systems of power different from one era to another. He applies the term “power archives” to demonstrate that those inside an institute cannot be aware of the subtle ways of power imposed on them. Likewise, it would be oversimplification to think that with the apparent end of colonialism, the colonized subjects will be free from subjugating contexts. In the case of women, the situation is even worse since they are repressed by both the colonialist and the post-colonial nationalist. “Under the anxiety of the influence” of the former colonial father, the once-belittled colonial men turn to support their females in terms of their body and soul, and in this way define them inside a strictly demarcated roles of good wives, mothers, and households or vicious prostitutes. Bessie Head in her semi-autobiographical masterpiece subtly examines this idea and through her coloured protagonist, Elizabeth, attempts to re-deconstruct this notion.

On Reading ‘Streer Patra’, Mrinal’s Letter to Her husband

Shyamali Dasgupta, Seth Soorajmull Jalan Girl’s College, India

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Tagore’s famous short story, ‘Streer Patra’, highlights the suffering, ignominy and neglect that women have to face in a male dominated society. Although set in late nineteenth century Kolkata, Tagore’s story has relevance for the discerning reader even today. It dwells upon issues like child-marriage, commoditization of women, the appalling state of woman-and-child healthcare, high rates of infant mortality as well as the marginalisation of economically dependent women. The story also exposes the terrible plight of orphaned, homeless girls without any means, like Bindu whose way to survive was to accept servitude and total humiliation, from which death becomes the only form of escape. Mrinal’s final rejection of her marital state and decision of leaving her husband is a lone woman’s act of defiance against the relentless subjugation of women in society.

Representation of Indigenous Women in Contemporary Aboriginal Short Stories of Australia and India: A Study in Convergences and Divergences

Indranil Acharya, Vidyasagar University, West Bengal, India


This paper tries to review and reassess the tribal situation with special reference to the tribal women in India and Australia. It is an attempt to locate the ‘Aboriginal woman’ question in the context of women’s movement in both countries. In Australia the women’s movement, on the whole, has not been successful in incorporating Aboriginal women into its concerns and activities. Relations with Aboriginal women have constituted a problem with the women’s movement. Despite many differences in socio-cultural set up the stories of Anil Gharai and those of Australian Aboriginal writers share many common traits and cut across cultural differences. It establishes the theory of pan-aboriginality that exists in countries that possess a sizeable population of indigenous people.

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