Book chapter/ Religious Identity, Family, and Gender in Malabar Migration

Rose, Sharon. ‘Migration, Gender, and Religion: A Study of Malabar Migration and Gendered Christian Identity in Girideepam (1961–71)’. In Home, Belonging and Memory in Migration: Leaving and Living, edited by Sadan and Pushpendra. Routledge India, 2021.

Abstract: Malabar migration refers to the mass movement of peasants from Travancore to Malabar that began in the early 1920s and lasted till the late 1970s. Malabar migration and the history of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Malabar are closely interrelated.

This chapter explores how religion became central to a mass migration and the relationship shared by the migrants and the Church in the process of the migration. The chapter also examines how various discourses on gender and family became pivotal in the establishment of the Church in Malabar.

Girideepam, a magazine published by the Telicherry diocese between 1961 and 1971, is taken as the primary source of information for understanding the notions of religious identity, family, and gender with respect to Malabar migration.

More info: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003199120-9

 

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Book chapter / Performing Ramayana in Kutiyattam

Shulman, David, Margi Madhu Chakyar, and Indu G., in conversation with Rustom Bharucha. ‘Reflections on Ramayana in Kutiyattam‘ in Richman, Paula, and Rustom Bharucha, eds. Performing the Ramayana Tradition: Enactments, Interpretations, and Arguments, pp. 213–37.. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.

Abstract: Set in Nepathya, a Kutiyattam performance training centre in the village of Moozhikkulam (Ernakulam District, Kerala), this two-part interview focuses on conversations with Sanskrit scholar and Kutiyattam expert David Shulman, followed by another interaction with two of the leading Kutiyattam performers in India today, Madhu Margi Chakyar and Indu G.

While the exchange with Shulman focuses primarily on the philosophical and literary resonances of Kutiyattam via Shaktibhadra’s play Āścaryacūḍāmaṇi, the conversation with Madhu Margi Chakyar and Indu. G. elaborates on the actual training process and rigour that go into performing Kutiyattam.

Avoiding the binary of scholarship and practice, this two-part interview demonstrates how the knowledge surrounding Kutiyattam cannot be separated from what Shulman highlights as ‘extreme individualisation’ and the complexities of ‘temporality’ in performing Kutiyattam. Conversely, Madhu Margi Chakyar and Indu G. reflect on how they position themselves as performers in relation to matters concerning textuality and the interpretation of āṭṭaprakārams (acting manuals), which constitute a form of knowledge in its own right.

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Book chapter / Performing Ramayana in Nangyarkuttu

Narayanan, Mundoli. ‘Writing Her “Self“: The Politics of Gender in Nangyarkuttu’, in Richman, Paula, and Rustom Bharucha, eds. Performing the Ramayana Tradition: Enactments, Interpretations, and Arguments, pp. 186–210. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.

Abstract: This chapter provides a historical perspective on the evolution and contemporary significance of Nangyarkuttu, the ‘female’ derivative of Kutiyattam, which developed into an independent solo performance form by the late-20th century. Against this background, the author focuses on the artistry and innovations of one of Nangyarkuttu’s leading performers, Usha Nangiar, who has succeeded over the years in recovering and reinstating several major female characters who had disappeared from the Kutiyattam stage.

Calling attention to two marginalised female characters from the Ramayana repertoire, notably Mandodari and Ahalya, the essay delves deeply into Usha Nangiar’s process of research as she recreates performances around them, combining an approach that is both deeply subjective and scholarly.

Through excerpts from a detailed interview with the artist, the author demonstrates how Usha Nangiar’s interpretations of these roles, while drawing primarily on the performative tradition of Kutiyattam, constitutes a radical revisioning of the same tradition.

More info :  https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780197552506.001.0001/oso-9780197552506

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Book chapter / Performing Ramayana

Yohannan, Rizio. ‘Where Narrative and Performance Meet: Nepathya’s Rāmāyaṇa Saṃkṣēpam‘ in Richman, Paula, and Rustom Bharucha, eds. Performing the Ramayana Tradition: Enactments, Interpretations, and Arguments, pp. 50–60. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.

Abstract: This chapter contextualises and provides a translation of the Rāmāyaṇa Saṃkṣēpam, a concise summary of the Ramayana story, which serves as a training manual for a Kutiyattam artist preparing for the stage. It is taught by the guru to the disciple during the earliest stage of Kutiyattam training.

Each of the five active schools of Kutiyattam in Kerala uses its own abridged version of the story to initiate pupils into an extended multiphase training of the performance form through gesture and facial expression. Performed in a seated posture, the Rāmāyaṇa Saṃkṣēpam demonstrates episodes in the Ramayana story with a focus on specific characters and a gamut of emotions which provide the basic vocabulary of Kutiyattam performance.

The summary that is translated here is sourced from a handwritten text in Malayalam belonging to the Nepathya School in Moozhikkulam (Ernakulam District, Kerala).

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Book chapter / Kerala Rikshawala at the Intersection of Communism and Social Realism

Kommattam, Nisha. ‘Vehicles of Progress: The Kerala Rikshawala at the Intersection of Communism and Social Realism’. In Sound Alignments: Popular Music in Asia’s Cold Wars, edited by Michael K. Bourdaghs, Paola Iovene, and Kaley Mason, 69–92. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2021.

Summary: My chapter ‘Vehicles of Progress: The Kerala Rikshawala at the Intersection of Communism and Cosmopolitanism’ examines the iconic trope of the autorickshaw driver as represented in two popular Malayalam movies from the Cold War era, Odayil Ninnu (1965) and Aye Auto! (1990).

More precisely, I discuss three film songs that illustrate how the ‘Kerala rikshawala’ as a cultural icon is situated at an intersection of vernacular Communist ideologies on the one hand and emerging cosmopolitan aspirations on the other. A close reading of the songs’ textual, visual, and sonic structures will expose these intersections as well as lead to larger questions about the uneasy relationship between class, caste, Communism, and cosmopolitanism.

My argument here is twofold. First, I argue that the cultural icon of the Kerala rikshawala offers an identificatory trope for many consumers of the mass culture production that is Malayalam cinema. Relatability, ubiquity, and relatively low social stigma (compared to other working-class professions) aid the trope of the rikshawala in serving as an embodiment of the Malayalee audience’s aspirations for social justice and upward mobility in the relatively young state.

Second, the trope of the Kerala rikshawala can also be read as an embodiment of the postcolonial state of Kerala itself, representing its multifaceted pulls toward larger socio-economic progress, attempting to provide upward social mobility to its citizens in an increasingly globalising world.

More info: https://www.dukeupress.edu/sound-alignments

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Book chapter / Elephant Welfare Regulations

Bindumadhav, Sumanth, Alokparna Sengupta, and Shilpa Mahbubani. ‘The Effectiveness of Elephant Welfare Regulations in India.’ In The Elephant Tourism Business, edited by E. Laws, N. Scott, X. Font, and J. Koldowski, 149–59. Wallingford, UK: CABI, 2021.


Summary: This chapter describes the current situation of elephants used in tourism in Kerala and Rajasthan in India and the effectiveness of existing welfare regulations.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1079/9781789245868.0012

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Book chapter / Tourism – Community Participation

George, A. T., Jiang Min, and T. Delacy. ‘A Case Study on Impacts of Community Participation in Tourism Planning and Destination Management in Kerala, India.’ In Tourism Planning and Development in South Asia, edited by D. Stylidis and B. Seetanah, 5–22. Wallingford, UK: CABI, 2021.

Summary: This case study in Kerala explores the positive impacts of community participation on economic, socio-cultural, and environmental factors through responsible tourism initiatives in Kumarakom destination. This research evaluates the effectiveness, fundamental elements, and conceptual foundation of participatory design in the case study destination.

The results of the case study indicate that participatory design can accelerate local community development, innovative initiatives, leadership, employment opportunities, demand for local products, and sustainable development in the destination.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1079/9781789246698.0001

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Book chapter / Adaptations in Tourism After the 2018 Flood

Azzali, Simona, Zilmiyah Kamble, K. Thirumaran, Caroline Wong, and Jacob Wood. ‘Mitigating Impact From Natural Disasters, Building Resilience in Tourism: The Case of Kerala’. In Economic Effects of Natural Disasters, edited by Taha Chaiechi, 119–29. Academic Press, 2021.

Abstract: The spate of natural disasters in recent years has spawned a great deal of research on various challenges in disaster preparation, response, and recovery. Not much attention has been given to scholarly analyses of policies adapting to post–disaster management that have implications for key sectors of a country’s economy.

The strong inverse relationship between tourism and natural disasters underscores the vulnerability of tourism determined by the extent of direct and indirect impact from natural disasters, hence a need to evaluate post–disaster management.

This study examines the 2018 Kerala flood and its impact on tourism through a critical assessment of the responses of government agencies and organisations. Understanding the extent of policy adaptations during and after the 2018 Kerala flood in India allows us to develop a framework for policymakers and other stakeholders to consider impact-limiting measures and construct built-in resilience in the tourism industry.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-817465-4.00008-X

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Book chapter (OA) / The Rise of ‘New Generation’ Churches in Kerala Christianity

John, Stanley. ‘The Rise of “New Generation” Churches in Kerala Christianity’. In World Christianity: Methodological Considerations, edited by Martha Frederiks and Dorottya Nagy, 19:271–91. Theology and Mission in World Christianity. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2021.

Abstract: Pentecostalism has experienced stupendous growth globally in the 20th century, and new churches and movements of ‘pentecostal’ or ‘charismatic’ nature continue to emerge within World Christianity in the 21st century.

This chapter grapples with the question of how to understand these new movements in the light of global Pentecostalism and local histories. It explores what may be appropriate terminologies and conceptual frameworks that can best capture the complexity and uniqueness, and situate these new movements in context with other movements globally.

Focusing on the case of ‘New Generation’ churches from Kerala and its diaspora, this chapter cautions us from creating an assumption of normativity of Pentecostalism’s origin and features, instead inclining our ears to understand contemporary movements within local contexts shaped by the movements and denominations to which they are responding and reacting.

More info and full text (OA): https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004444867_014

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Book chapter / Relations between Kerala and Sri Lanka

Bajpai, Lopamudra Maitra. ‘Time, Palate and History: Relations between Kerala and Sri Lanka’. In India, Sri Lanka and the SAARC Region: History, Popular Culture and Heritage. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2021.
Abstract: The connection between Kerala in India and Sri Lanka can be traced across history, folklore and oral traditions, rites, rituals and festivals, architecture and lifestyle, and also the palate and food.
The connection can be traced to ancient times when a Sri Lankan king visited the Chera country in Kerala during the Pattani festival at Vanchi in the Kerala region; was perhaps the contemporary of Senguttuvan Chera, according to the Sangam poems, and can be dated to either the first or last quarter of the 2nd century CE (depending on whether he was the earlier or the later Gajabahu).
The Pattani cult (of the deity) is said to have been brought to Sri Lanka by Gajabahu.

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