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Lectures

Outsides and insides: Covid-19 seen from the first floor of a house in Mirpur, Dhaka

This article is part of the following series:

In this contribution to Somatosphere’s Dispatches from the Pandemic we attend to practices of boundary making, of separating outsides from insides. The new coronavirus appeared on the global stage as a threatening invader that is to be kept outside of human bodies. But it is not obvious how to achieve this. Where and how to make the boundaries around those …

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Books Features

The Spectral Wound and New Lines of Flight: A Reply

One late October morning in 2015, my phone rang and I got a “missed call” (a call where the caller hangs up before the receiver can answer as a way of establishing a pre-agreed decision, in my case being that I needed to call back) from Moyna’s daughter. The Spectral Wound had just been published. I rang back right away …

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Books Features

The Grains of Experience

The Spectral Wound is one of the most sensitive, subtle, and thought-provoking anthropological texts on sexual violence in the context of war (Mookherjee 2015). I have already expressed my admiration in the foreword to the book for its nuanced rendering of the interplay between the national imperative to memorialize, the desire for justice on the part of human rights advocacy …

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Books Features

Time of the Writing, the Hour of Reading

[Editor’s note: This essay was originally published in Economic & Political Weekly (February 13, 2016) and is expanded from a public discussion organized by Dina Siddiqi and Seuty Sabur of BRAC University, Dhaka.]

Nayanika Mookherjee acknowledges that The Spectral Wound has taken “a long time” (xxi) to write. She narrates the early morning “thought struggle,” as well as the ethical …

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Books Features

On Counting

I am very pleased to be invited by Andrew Brandel to discuss Professor Nayanika Mookherjee’s recently published book The Spectral Wound: Sexual Violence, Public Memories, and the Bangladesh War of 1971. Mookherjee’s courageous book tells of the fate of women who were raped during the 9-month military crackdown by West Pakistan on the then East Pakistan, renamed Bangladesh after …

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Books Features

The Performance of Public Secrets in The Spectral Wound

Focusing on the figure of the birangona (war heroine) Nayanika Mookherjee’s The Spectral Wound explores tensions inherent in national public efforts to acknowledge widespread sexual assault of Bangladeshi women by Pakistani soldiers during the war of 1971. The term birangona was bestowed on women to birth a national discourse that would openly honor, rather than shamefully hide away, these victims …

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