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Embodying Histories of Violence: Representations of Scarred Bodies of Sri Lankan Tamil Women in Sri Lankan Tamil Diasporic Women’s Writing in English

Author: Joyce Sabreena Niles

  • Embodying Histories of Violence: Representations of Scarred Bodies of Sri Lankan Tamil Women in Sri Lankan Tamil Diasporic Women’s Writing in English

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    Embodying Histories of Violence: Representations of Scarred Bodies of Sri Lankan Tamil Women in Sri Lankan Tamil Diasporic Women’s Writing in English

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Abstract

The paper seeks to explore embodied histories of violence through an insightful discussion on the representations of scarred bodies of Sri Lankan Tamil women in Sri Lankan Tamil diasporic women’s writing in English. The study employs a qualitative approach and conducts a content analysis of selected narratives in the primary texts: Shankari Chandran’s Song of the Sun God (2017), V.V. Ganeshananthan’s Love Marriage (2008), and Mary Anne Mohanraj’s Bodies in Motion (2005). The narratives selected for the study are approached as a body of literary work that portrays scarred bodies of Sri Lankan Tamil women both within and outside Sri Lanka against the backdrop of ethnic and communal violence. It posits that in a context of war, bodies of Sri Lankan Tamil women, as represented in the novels, are perceived as battle sites on which warring factions inscribe their authority. The study then examines the legacy of violence as a shared communal trait among Sri Lankan Tamils and argues for the alternative presented through the narratives of approaching the scarred bodies of Sri Lankan Tamil women as spaces of empowerment, as opposed to impure or sullied bodies that are incapable of representing their Sri Lankan Tamil families and communities.

Keywords: embodying, histories of violence, scarred bodies, Sri Lankan Tamil women

How to Cite:

Niles, J., (2020) “Embodying Histories of Violence: Representations of Scarred Bodies of Sri Lankan Tamil Women in Sri Lankan Tamil Diasporic Women’s Writing in English”, Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies 20(1), 6-17. doi: https://doi.org/10.17077/2168-569X.1553

Rights: Copyright © 2020 Joyce Sabreena Niles

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Published on
01 Apr 2020