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Transnational Feminism in the United StatesKnowledge, Ethics, Power$
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Leela Fernandes

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814760963

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814760963.001.0001

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Transnational Economies of Representation and the Labor of the Traveling Subaltern

Transnational Economies of Representation and the Labor of the Traveling Subaltern

(p.61) 3 Transnational Economies of Representation and the Labor of the Traveling Subaltern
Transnational Feminism in the United States

Leela Fernandes

NYU Press

This chapter studies two sets of cultural products, analyzing how different forms of knowledge—such as film and biography—circulate across national borders and have varying power effects in varying national contexts. The first set consists of the film Bandit Queen (1994), and the autobiography I, Phoolan Devi (1996), both representations of the life of well-known Indian Dalit (outcaste) woman, Phoolan Devi. These representations trace a specific post-colonial route between Britain and India and are enmeshed in the colonial legacies of this geopolitical journey and in the postcolonial specificities of the responses within the Indian public sphere. The second set consists of the popular film, Slumdog Millionaire (2008), and the fictional book on which the film was based, Q & A (2005), by Vikas Swarup. Both the film and the book were routed through the cultural-economic center of the U.S. film industry. Phoolan Devi's representations gained little public attention, while Q & A was widely reviewed and the film received significant commercial success and recognition.

Keywords:   cultural products, film, biography, Bandit Queen, Phoolan Devi, Slumdog Millionaire, Q & A

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