Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: Eugenic Feminism and the Problem of National Development

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pp. 1-32

Speaking in a 1935 radio broadcast in Bombay titled “What Birth Control Can Do for India,” American birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger outlined the importance of reproductive control to the incipient Indian nation. Long sympathetic to the cause of Indian independence (at this point still twelve years away), Sanger trotted out...

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1 Perfecting Feminism: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Eugenic Utopias

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pp. 33-64

In a 1895 poem titled “The Burden of Mothers: A Clarion Call to Redeem the Race!,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman characteristically places women’s reproductive powers at the center of nation building. On the grounds that “through [women] comes the race” (8), she insists as long as women are “fettered with gold or with iron” (7) humanity...

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2 Regenerating Feminism: Sarojini Naidu’s Eugenic Feminist Renaissance

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pp. 65-98

Speaking in London in 1913, Indian nationalist and poet Sarojini Naidu challenges the notion that Indian women are hostages of tradition, patiently awaiting enlightenment from the West. Instead she traces a feminist genealogy to India’s distant past, insisting that “all these new ideas about the essential equality of man and woman...

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3 “World Menace”: National Reproduction, Public Health, and the Mother India Debate

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pp. 99-132

The controversy surrounding the 1927 publication of Katherine Mayo’s Mother India was arguably the most important pre-independence event between U.S. and Indian feminisms. An imperialist polemic against Indian self- rule thinly disguised as journalistic exposé, Mother India’s portrayal of the subcontinent as a cesspool of...

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4 The Vanishing Peasant Mother: Reimagining Mother India for the 1950s

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pp. 133-172

Despite the formal equality granted to women by the Indian Constitution and the continued visibility of elite nationalist feminists in politics, the decades following Indian independence have been labeled the “‘silent period’ of the women’s movement.”1 The mainstream women’s organizations (such as the All-India Women’s...

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5 Severed Limbs, Severed Legacies: Indira Gandhi’s Emergency and the Problem of Subalternity

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pp. 173-200

On August 15, 1975, just a little less than two months after her declaration of a state of Emergency, Indira Gandhi gave an Independence Day address at the Red Fort in Delhi. In it, she outlined a new vision for democracy and independence for the postcolonial nation, arguing, “Independence does not merely mean a Government by Indians. It means that the Government should be capable of taking independent...

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EPILOGUE: Transnational Surrogacy and the Neoliberal Mother India

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pp. 201-212

Zippi Brand Frank’s 2009 documentary Google Baby opens with this meliorist account of how technology has transformed reproduction into an act determined less by chance than by the market. In doing so it draws a series of equivalences between different historical moments and technologies, comparing the 1960s invention of...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 213-216

Writing this book has been a lesson in gratitude. My greatest debt is to Josie Saldaña, who not only has been an amazing advisor and friend but whose own work on development, subjectivity, and feminism continues to inspire me. Josie always knows to push me when I need it and talk me down from the ledge in moments of panic; her support...

Notes

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pp. 217-250

Index

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pp. 251-264

About the Author

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pp. 265-265