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Public Domain and Outreach

A distinctive feature of nearly all Anveshi’s research initiatives has been its alertness to the domain of cultural politics; it is the engagement with this sphere that unifies and indeed characterizes Anveshi’s commitments and its work. Our impact on culture, public policy, and knowledge, has been through this domain rather than through immediate work with government organizations. While the outreach aspect of our work is undertaken by all research initiatives, this initiative serves to consolidate the directions charted out in various projects.

The Public Domain and Outreach initiative, funded by the Dorabji Tata Trust, Mumbai, is planned in the following directions:

  • Contributing to the Telugu public sphere through debates with progressive/Dalit organizations
  • Supporting the Telugu journal Bhumika through writings and contributions
  • Collaborating with progressive publishing houses to make significant publications available at affordable prices to Telugu readers
  • Making available material on important theoretical and literary debates through translation
  • Building library holdings and resources for Telugu researchers
  • Work towards developing a refresher course in Women’s Studies

Ongoing Projects

Feminism Today: Course Material and Reader

The reader offers a map of the contemporary terrain of feminism and its history in the Indian context that could be used as teaching material for students at the post-graduate level. An objective of the reader is to introduce a new generation of readers to new issues and discussions in the women’s movement.

The reader draws on a wide range of texts — from film songs to matrimonial columns, from popular television serials to chat-room discussions — so that it can speak to a larger audience interested in understanding the experience of gender in India today. The reader is divided into three sections: Growing Up, Body and Relationships. Some of the questions it seeks to engage with are: how have sexuality, the politics of intimate relationships, the opening up of the singular category of ‘woman’, or the gendering of public spaces become crucial issues in the feminist debates in India today? What are the inter-linkages of feminism with the caste question and communalism? The feminist reader has been edited by Dr. Navaneetha Mokkil and Shefali Jha.  The volume is in press and is likely to be available mid 2011.

Completed Projects

The Feminist Reader

This reader is a compilation of Telugu translations of important Indian feminist writing  on history, law, development, culture and caste.  A key objective of this reader is to increase access for Telugu readership to national debates about contemporary questions of feminist politics. Some of the articles have been specially commissioned for this reader. The book has been published by Anveshi and is available on request.


Sthreelu-Pratinidhyam, Quotapai Charcha. Representation for Women: A Discussion on Quotas (2003)

A collection of articles on the question of political reservations for women in Parliament that appeared in Economic and Political Weekly in October 2000 were translated into Telugu and published as an anthology. It is edited by Rama Melkote and S. Jaya and published by Anveshi.

Theoretical Approaches to Women’s Studies: Concepts and Categories (2002)

Several members of Anveshi were involved in designing the course material for a postgraduate diploma in Women’s Studies for Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad.

English Proficiency Course for Ford Foundation Fellows (2002)

Anveshi offered this residential course to fifteen fellows selected by the Ford Foundation for their International Fellowship Programme, in June 2002. The participants were young research scholars from Dalit and minority backgrounds from different parts of the country, on their way to higher studies in universities in the US and UK. While the course was designed to build confidence in the language use and communication skills of the participants, the thematic focus of the course was issues of difference and marginalisation. The course involved interactive classroom teaching, group discussion and project work.

Telugu Cinema: History, Culture and Theory 1931-1998 (1999)

Anveshi, in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, organised a workshop on Telugu Cinema in 1999. Several documents about the history, culture and theory on Telugu cinema is collected together in this dossier.

Towards an Archive for Contemporary Feminism, 1830-1950 (1998)

The project, coordinated by Susie Tharu, involved the collection of texts from English and four regional languages in an attempt to understand how the women’s question has been articulated and institutionalized in India over the last 150 years. The research associates who worked on this project were Vidyut Bhagwat (Marathi), Jharna Dhar (Bengali), Vasanth Kannabiran (Tamil) and K. Lalita (Telugu). The Indian Council of Social Science Research funded this project.