Rama for Beginners: Bridging Indian Folk and Comics Cultures

Rama for Beginners:  Bridging Indian Folk and Comics Cultures

Jeremy Stoll
Indiana University

Abstract:

In the boom of recent comics scholarship, the comic art of India has received little attention compared to that of other nations, the United States, France, and Japan in particular. Through a basis in religious and folk narratives, Indian comics narratives, especially those published by the Amar Chitra Katha series, have worked to update folk tales, retelling them in a modern medium. By looking at the figure of Rama in the Amar Chitra Katha and other Indian comics, this paper will analyze the process and implications of this transformation. In particular, the analysis of Rama as contemporary hero will reveal how these stories help people to deal with daily life at the same time that they affirm another, older way of understanding the world. This paper will thus demonstrate how comics creators in India have adapted the comic book to effectively re-maneuver traditional tales as a modern, folkloric inheritance to future generations.     Continue reading “Rama for Beginners: Bridging Indian Folk and Comics Cultures”

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Within Their Own Seams: 19th Century Fashion and the Management of the Body in Women’s Literature and Letters

Within Their Own Seams: 19th Century Fashion and the Management of the Body in Women’s Literature and Letters

Kristiana Willsey
Indiana University

Abstract:

Elizabeth Gaskell’s 1855 novel, North and South, demonstrates the significant position women’s fashion played in the construction and maintenance of identity and self-expression.  Drawing on Gaskell’s novel as well as excerpts from other 19th century women’s letters, travelogues, and memoirs, we see how through imported fashions, English women participated in Empire making and confronted the problems of establishing English identity abroad. Women simultaneously occupied particular local identities and transcended them, articulating the tensions of maintaining both national and international identities through the feminine medium of fashion. At the same time, the tightly managed, corseted body represented a complex response to the advent of modernism. Continue reading “Within Their Own Seams: 19th Century Fashion and the Management of the Body in Women’s Literature and Letters”

Keila Diehl. Echoes from Dharamsala: Music in the Life of a Tibetan Refugee Community

Keila Diehl. Echoes from Dharamsala: Music in the Life of a Tibetan Refugee Community. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002. Pp. xi+312, illustrations, glossary, index. $25.00 paper.

Lori Goshert
Indiana University

In Echoes from Dharamsala, anthropologist Keila Diehl presents an engaging and complex picture of Tibetan refugee life in Dharamsala, India, the site of Tibet’s government-in-exile, through the music the community listens to and produces. Diehl begins the book with a colorful description of the first few days of her fieldwork, allowing readers to share her experiences and visualize themselves in India with her. The rest of the book is just as vivid in the way she describes her interactions with the Tibetan refugee community and her role as a participant-observer in Dharamsala’s music culture while playing keyboards for the Yak Band, a Tibetan rock group. Continue reading “Keila Diehl. Echoes from Dharamsala: Music in the Life of a Tibetan Refugee Community”