The process of writing, understanding and interpreting the histories of the European colonizers have always been infected with different forms of social, cultural, gender, and racial hierarchies. With respect to the gender perspective, usually, it is observed that historical narratives that are associated with European colonization in general and the colonization of India by the Europeans in particular are highly heteronormative and patriarchal in nature. In other words, the various socio-historical narratives that make an effort to eulogize the ‘contributions’ and the ‘sacrifices’ of the European colonizers mostly talk about European men and systemically and epistemically fail to acknowledge the ‘contributions’ and ‘sacrifices’ of the women. As a result, such forms of historical narratives only unfurl a half-baked picture of the actual reality. With respect to these arguments, this documentary research makes an effort to unpack a set of ignored and undervalued historical narratives that are associated with the Scottish women of Calcutta. Most of the existing historical documents that focuses on the functioning of the British East India Company in Calcutta hardly talk about the Scottish in general and/or the Scottish in particular. Thus, this documentary research, which has been funded by a Journal of International Women’s Studies (JIWS) fellowship, has made an effort to selectively bring forth the various social and cultural roles that were played by Scottish women in Calcutta during the time of British colonization. In the process of shedding light on these select Scottish women, this documentary has also made an effort to complicate the histories of colonialism and the challenges of the decolonial gaze.
Dey, Sayan and Srivastava, Tanmay
Voices of the Dead: A Documentary Research on the Scottish Women of Calcutta.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 21(6), 485-490.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol21/iss6/31