Poulomi Saha (English) offers an innovative account of women’s political labor in East Bengal over more than a century, one that suggests new ways of thinking about textiles and the gendered labors of their making. An Empire of Touch (Columbia, 2020) argues that women have articulated — in writing, in political action, in stitching — their own desires in their own terms. They produce narratives beyond women’s empowerment and independence as global and national projects; they refuse critical pronouncements of their own subjugation.
Saha follows the historical traces of how women have claimed their own labor, contending that their political commitments are captured in the material objects of their manufacture.
Saha is joined by Julia Bryan-Wilson (History of Art).