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Amya Agarwal, "Contesting Masculinities and Women’s Agency in Kashmir" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022)

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What is the significance of gender and masculinities in understanding conflict?

Through an ethnographic study conducted between 2013 and 2016, Amya Agarwal's book Contesting Masculinities and Women’s Agency in Kashmir (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022) explores the politics of competing and sometimes overlapping masculinities represented by the state armed forces and the non-state actors in the Kashmir valley. In addition, the book broadens the understanding of women's agency through its engagement with the construction, performance, and interplay of masculinities in the conflict.

Combining existing elements of both feminist research and critical scholarship on men and masculinities, the book highlights the significance of foregrounding the interplay of men's identities in conflicts to understand agency in a meaningful way. Through the focus on the simultaneous play of multiple masculinities, the book also questions the oversimplified and monolithic usage of masculinity being associated only with violence in conflicts.

The empirical data in the book includes interviews and narratives of multiple stakeholders belonging to diverse vantage points in the Kashmir conflict. Some of these include activists, widows, wives of the disappeared, ex-militants, surrendered militants, participants of the stone-pelting movement, mothers of sons killed in the conflict, women representatives of the village Halqa Panchayats, and army personnel. The book also draws from alternative material in the form of graffiti, folk songs, poetry on graves, and slogans. Through anecdotal reminiscence, the author reflects on the challenges of field research in Kashmir that served as an opportunity for self-contemplation.

Dr. Amya Agarwal is a senior researcher at the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute in Freiburg, Germany. She also teaches at the University of Freiburg and University College Freiburg. Her research interests include gender, conflict and security in South Asia; critical masculinities studies and visuality, and aesthetics in war and resistance.

Tusharika Deka is a PhD student in International Relations at the University of Nottingham. Currently, she serves as an Editor-at-large for E-International Relations and as the Social Media Editor for Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, a peer-reviewed journal published by Taylor and Francis. Previously she was the Assistant Editor for the Asia Dialogue, an online journal affiliated with the Asia Research Institute at the University of Nottingham. On Twitter: @Tusharika24.

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Manage episode 387518374 series 2421444
Content provided by New Books Network. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by New Books Network or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://player.fm/legal.

What is the significance of gender and masculinities in understanding conflict?

Through an ethnographic study conducted between 2013 and 2016, Amya Agarwal's book Contesting Masculinities and Women’s Agency in Kashmir (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022) explores the politics of competing and sometimes overlapping masculinities represented by the state armed forces and the non-state actors in the Kashmir valley. In addition, the book broadens the understanding of women's agency through its engagement with the construction, performance, and interplay of masculinities in the conflict.

Combining existing elements of both feminist research and critical scholarship on men and masculinities, the book highlights the significance of foregrounding the interplay of men's identities in conflicts to understand agency in a meaningful way. Through the focus on the simultaneous play of multiple masculinities, the book also questions the oversimplified and monolithic usage of masculinity being associated only with violence in conflicts.

The empirical data in the book includes interviews and narratives of multiple stakeholders belonging to diverse vantage points in the Kashmir conflict. Some of these include activists, widows, wives of the disappeared, ex-militants, surrendered militants, participants of the stone-pelting movement, mothers of sons killed in the conflict, women representatives of the village Halqa Panchayats, and army personnel. The book also draws from alternative material in the form of graffiti, folk songs, poetry on graves, and slogans. Through anecdotal reminiscence, the author reflects on the challenges of field research in Kashmir that served as an opportunity for self-contemplation.

Dr. Amya Agarwal is a senior researcher at the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute in Freiburg, Germany. She also teaches at the University of Freiburg and University College Freiburg. Her research interests include gender, conflict and security in South Asia; critical masculinities studies and visuality, and aesthetics in war and resistance.

Tusharika Deka is a PhD student in International Relations at the University of Nottingham. Currently, she serves as an Editor-at-large for E-International Relations and as the Social Media Editor for Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, a peer-reviewed journal published by Taylor and Francis. Previously she was the Assistant Editor for the Asia Dialogue, an online journal affiliated with the Asia Research Institute at the University of Nottingham. On Twitter: @Tusharika24.

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