Educating Activists

Educating Activists : Development and Gender in the Making of Modern Gandhians

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This accessible, richly textured ethnography illuminates the cultural shaping of development and modernity in the context of a remarkable Gandhian program for women and girls that, since 1946, has engaged with issues of sustainability, gender equity, and poverty in Himalayan India. It blends memories, stories and historical research to analyze how rural women have drawn inspiration, in sometimes surprising ways, from Gandhi, as they have sought to confront new environmental and social more

Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 566.99g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0739137352
  • 9780739137352

Review quote

Engaging, nuanced, and beautifully written, Educating Activists is an exemplary study that demonstrates the power of ethnographic writing and method. Tracing the gendered experience of development in a Gandhian Ashram in Kumaon Himalayas, India over two generations, Educating Activists offers a critical and sophisticated reading of the cultural politics of development, its gendered articulations, and multiple and unintended consequences. Written with verve and clarity, it is a must-read for undergraduate and advanced students interested in critical development studies, feminist anthropology, and South Asian studies. -- Shubhra Gururani, York University Rebecca Klenk's superb new book offers an inspiring and richly illustrated ethnography of education and development in contemporary India. Written with clarity and great purpose, Educating Activists opens up new perspectives on gender, agency and modernity. The book should be essential reading for South Asianists and deserves a much wider audience. -- Craig Jeffrey, Oxford University, author of Timepass: Youth, Class and the Politics of Waiting in India Rebecca Klenk's thoughtful ethnography of a Gandhian ashram in the rural Himalaya is replete with stories that question, destabilize, and deepen familiar narratives of empowerment and disempowerment, subservience and independence, and development and its critiques. Here at the grassroots of Uttarakhand, women define development against the grain not only as education or entrepreneurial spirit, but, more crucially, as personal integrity, self-reflection, and social change. Klenk's portrait of the ashram is respectful, nuanced, and keenly perceptive; most of all it has profound implications for a politics of hope. -- Jean M. Langford, University of Minnesota In a study that pays close attention to the remarkable women in Lakshmi Ashram and is engaged in the most nuanced of theoretical debates in the anthropology of development, Rebecca Klenk draws on two decades of research with these rural Gandhians of the western Himalaya to show how they creatively reinterpret the Mahatma to find their own way to educate and inspire other women in their lives. This is transnational feminist anthropology at its finest. -- Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan, Yale Universityshow more

About Rebecca Klenk

Rebecca M. Klenk is a sociocultural anthropologist who teaches at the University of Tennessee and has directed the University of Washington's Environment and Development Study Abroad Program in more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 I: Developed Women Chapter 3 1: Educating Modern Gandhians: Lakshmi Ashram and its Mission Chapter 4 2: "Who is the Developed Woman?" Part 5 II: "Sarala Devi's Daughters" Chapter 6 3: Lakshmi Ashram's First Generation Chapter 7 4: Samaj Seva Chapter 8 5: "What's All This Gandhi-Gandhi About?" Lakshmi Ashram's Second Generation Part 9 III: Development, Place, and Possible Futures Chapter 10 6: A Place on Fireshow more