South Asia

Organized Panel Session

1 - 'Criminal' Brides: Legal and Visual Genealogies of Matrimonial Violence

Saturday, July 7
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Silveroak I, Ground Floor

Looking at a spate of media reports on daughter in laws who have killed their mothers in laws, the paper maps how the figure of the criminal bride occupies the legal and visual archive. Displacing the gaze on the criminal mother-in-law, I focus attention on these murders of mothers in-laws as a specific form of affinal violence, which mobilize older and sometimes mythic ideas of feminine retribution and vulnerability of Asian mothers and brides. Reading these narratives alongside the conventional imagination of dowry murders assembles spatial and temporal imagination across jurisdictions that reconfigure the image of the submissive Indian “wife”. The image of a mother-in-law burnt or hacked to death by her daughter in law have found sensational reporting. Secret videos by suspicious husbands claiming to have recorded such murders now find uploads on the cyberspace. The somewhat startling circulation of images and cases of criminal brides re-configures histories of feminism as representing and misrepresenting violence and its discontents in the traffic of phallocentric affinal affect.

Pratiksha Baxi

Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

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1 - 'Criminal' Brides: Legal and Visual Genealogies of Matrimonial Violence



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