Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationRutgers U.
Grant numberGr. 9988
Approve DateAugust 26, 2020
Project TitleDas, Reecha (Rutgers U.) "Disarranged Marriages: Love, Law and Violence in Uttar Pradesh, India"
This dissertation research looks at how casteist, patriarchal and religiously conservative social formations in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh regulate romantic love and desires using criminal laws that were intended to protect women from sexual violence. With a focus on the criminal justice system, this research aims to investigate how the legal discourse of sexual violence is shaped, co-opted and circulated by various groups, such as feminist NGOs, men’s rights activists, religious groups, police personnel and of course, judges, lawyers and their litigants. Building on the classic anthropological concept of kinship, this research follows the social life of such criminal cases to ask what can criminal trials tell us about love and family in contemporary India? Moreover, it explores the emancipatory potential of love, as influenced by queer and anti-caste scholars, as a counter to caste and religious conflict in Uttar Pradesh.