Books

Themes

Kalpana’s books encompass the following themes: Violence Studies, Gender and Feminist Studies, Disability Studies, Law and Society, Social Policy, Development Studies.

A core characteristic of her published work is that it is immersed in collaborations across disciplines, each book deeply interdisciplinary, bringing together original essays by different sets of contributors from widely varying disciplinary backgrounds

Mahilavaranam / Womanscape. Secunderabad: Asmita Resource Centre for Women, 2001. Co-editor.

Mahilavaranam / Womanscape. Secunderabad: Asmita Resource Centre for Women, 2001. Co-editor.

As we looked at what women have done and what they had achieved in the last century it seemed as if the century belonged to women…women who learned to read and write, women who as widows dared to remarry, fighting for the right to education, entering movements, flocking to jails, stepping for the first time into the world of radio, cinema and stage, becoming the first doctors, scientists, musicians, dancers, artists, students. Their courage writ large across the century fills us with a sense of awe. This book is a celebration of the past and a hymn to the future.

De-Eroticizing Assault: Essays on Modesty, Honour and Power, co-author, Calcutta: Stree, 2002. Co-author

De-Eroticizing Assault: Essays on Modesty, Honour and Power, Calcutta: Stree, 2002. Co-author

Focussing on the many hegemonies that confront women and men today, this book presents fresh insights on the linkages among gender, culture and politics. The authors’ “concerns in politics have centred on questions of of culture and representation, on power and hegemonies that find legitimacy, in globalization, and the imperatives of anti-communal struggles in a field fractured by the globalizing politics of cultures.” As feminists who have long worked in Andhra Pradesh, they have witnessed the coalition between globalisation and fundamentalism and consider the disturbing portents for women, children, minorities and Dalits. While reflecting on the increase in state repression, they also critique the way the Left revolutionary parties too restrict women’s engagement.

Muvalur Ramamirthammal’s Web of Deceit: Devadasi Reform in Colonial India. New Delhi: Kali for Women, 2003.

Muvalur Ramamirthammal’s Web of Deceit: Devadasi Reform in Colonial India. New Delhi: Kali for Women, 2003. Co-translator and co-editor.

Muvalur Ramamirthammal’s novel, Web of Deceit, has generally been read as a novel that propagates reform, and has even occasionally been dismissed by feminist scholars as a “reformist” text. At the other end, it has been read as a radical text that is located in the politics of the self-respect movement and one that provides a far more nuanced understanding of the problem than the movement for devadasi abolition. This is however a rather simplistic portrayal of what happened in the devadasi abolition movement and in the context of the debate it generated. The novel, however, does the contrary. It contains in its unfolding, all the nuances and complexities of the devadasi institution and the demand for abolition. On the surface, it is a very straight and unequivocal demand – for abolition of the practice of dedicating girls to temples [a euphemism for prostitution] that the novel propagates. And yet in the very process of articulating the demand, the author also uncovers different layers of resistance and acquiescence to this demand.

The Violence of Normal Times: Essays on Women’s Lived Realities. New Delhi: Women Unlimited & Kali for Women, Delhi, 2005. Editor

The Violence of Normal Times: Essays on Women’s Lived Realities. New Delhi: Women Unlimited & Kali for Women, Delhi, 2005. Editor

This volume looks at the experience and articulation of violence against women in relation to feminist debates and organising on the issue and the positive/negative responses to that articulation particularly from the standpoint of law and the institutional apparatuses of the state. Its several essays focus on everyday settings from justice dispensed by traditional authorities to modern courtrooms domestic spaces a home for mentally disabled women in Pune a factory in Tamil Nadu. Moving from the routine to the extraordinary the essays analyse the spectrum of violence against women that covers witch hunting in Adivasi communities structural adjustment programmes and economic violence against sexually marginalised groups and against women of religious and ethnic minorities. Read together they expose the extent of systemic violence against women in India a violence so routine that everyday forms of it slide into the gross and macabre in a seamless continuum.

The Situated Politics of Belonging, London: Sage, 2006. Co-editor

The Situated Politics of Belonging, London: Sage, 2006. Co-editor

This collection of essays examines the racialized and gendered effects of contemporary politics of belonging, issues which lie at the heart of contemporary political and social lives. It encompasses critical questions of identity and citizenship, inclusion and exclusion, emotional attachments, violent conflicts and local/global relationships. The range – geographically, thematically and theoretically – covered by the chapters reflects current concerns in the world today.

From Mathura to Manorama: 25 years of Resisting Violence against Women., New Delhi: Women Unlimited, 2007. Co-author

From Mathura to Manorama: 25 years of Resisting Violence against Women., New Delhi: Women Unlimited, 2007. Co-author

From the late 1970s to the present, feminists in India have had to deal with spiralling violence against women and the alarming ramifications of its forms, as well as assess their strategies to combat it. This monograph reviews twenty-five years of protest and action by them, in an attempt to take both our analysis and theories forward. It maps the trajectory of feminist organising in India in the post-Emergency period, after 1977; the paths of legal reform and the points at which they have intersected with, or resulted from, feminist campaigns; the texture of campaigns and the creativity with which women’s groups have fashioned and sustained difficult struggles against violence; the persistence of feminist interventions and the ways in which different groups have been able to tilt the balance in favour of women in perceptible ways; and the escalation of collective violence, increasingly by agents of the state, against women. Notwithstanding the diversity of formal political affiliations and theoretical analyses within the women’s movement, the last twenty-five years have seen the evolution of a minimum consensus that categorically rejects any rationalisation of violence against women, even while recognising its complexity.

Challenging the Rule(s) of Law: Colonialism, Criminology and Human Rights in India. Delhi: Sage Publications, 2008. Co-Editor.

Challenging the Rule(s) of Law: Colonialism, Criminology and Human Rights in India. Delhi: Sage Publications, 2008. Co-Editor.

This rare comprehensive critique of criminology in India brings together widely respected activists, advocates, bureaucrats, scholars and practitioners who share their concerns about the Indian criminal justice system through an interdisciplinary lens and discuss the need to entrench human rights in Indian polity. It is a significant step towards mapping the ways in which interdisciplinary research and human rights activism might inform legal praxis more effectively and holistically.

Challenging the Rule(s) of Law contests unproblematic assumptions of the rule of law and opens out avenues for a renewed and radical study of criminal law in the country. The collection looks at the problem of criminal law from the early colonial period to the present, examining the problem of overt violence by state actors and their compliance with dominant private actors. It calls into question the denial by the state of the wherewithal for bare life, which compounds people’s vulnerability to a repressive rule of law.

“This work is a must read for students, researchers and faculty of Law, Criminal Law, Criminology, Legal History, Human Rights, Sociology of Law and Colonial History. It will also be invaluable for law historians, legal scholars and policy makers, especially the judiciary.”

toolsofjustice

Tools of Justice: Non-Discrimination and the Indian Constitution. New Delhi: Routledge, 2012. Author.

“A careful study of this fascinating work would enhance an understanding of the position on the ground, the dire need for change and the way in which this is to be done.”

Justice Z. M.
Yacoob, The Hindu

“Tools of Justice will be treated as a profound book … demanding our attention … For those who study citizenship it will be even more rewarding.”

Ranabir Samaddar, Economic & Political Weekly

“This publication heralds a new era for legal studies and feminist legal studies as well as the potential for a popular constitutionalism in India, South Asia and globally.”

Rhoda Reddock University of West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad

This book explores the critical possibilities of the concepts of non-discrimination and liberty, and reimagines the idea of democratic citizenship. It shows how the breaking down of discrimination in constitutional interpretation and the narrowing of the field of liberty in law deepen discriminatory ideologies and practices. Instead, it offers an intersectional approach to jurisprudence as a means of enabling the law to address the problem of discrimination along multiple, intersecting axes — caste, tribe, religious minorities, women, sexual minorities, and disability.

Drawing on a rich body of materials, including official reports, case law and historical records, and insights from social theory, anthropology, literary and historical studies and constitutional jurisprudence, this volume offers a new reading of non-discrimination.

“Lucid, accessible and insightful, the book will be indispensable to students, researchers and scholars of law, sociology, gender studies, politics, constitutionalism, disability studies, human rights, and social exclusion.”

Women and Law: Critical Feminist Perspectives. New Delhi: Sage, 2014. Editor

Women and Law: Critical Feminist Perspectives. New Delhi: Sage, 2014. Editor

How should we approach the problem of “women and law”? Should the focus be on women-centred laws and their efficacy? Or should the focus be, instead, on the ways in which the law imagines women and the ways in which women have engaged with the law—spilling beyond fields traditionally associated with the phrase “women and law”? And how does violence figure in all these? Women and Law, a compilation of 11 insightful essays, examines these questions and a range of concerns—domestic violence, employment and labour, anti-discrimination jurisprudence, family laws, access to forest and land rights, the right to health, the complexities in the intersection of women’s rights with disability rights and women’s experiences of repressive legislation such as TADA.

This volume attempts at a fresh mapping of the field of women and law from an interdisciplinary perspective and presents the work of activists, lawyers and scholars in conversation.

Violence Studies (Oxford India Studies in Contemporary Society), Delhi: Oxford University Press. 2016. Editor.

Violence Studies (Oxford India Studies in Contemporary Society), Delhi: Oxford University Press. 2016. Editor.

Violence is embedded in our everyday. We encounter not only its overt, raw, and brutal nature but also the deeply buried invisible and insidious forms that normalize violence in the collective conscience, making it less noticeable and more tolerable.

This volume opens out the field of violence studies with a focus on its myriad habitations and experiences in India. It interrogates the numerous ways in which omnipresent violence is interpreted and represented, and delves into the interconnections between the identifiable normative axes of power and the engendering of violence. Bringing together fresh methodological and conceptual perspectives on the way violence is understood and analysed, the contributors to this volume investigate its occurrence across sites—law, family, state, gender, labour, caste, sexuality, communalism, and so on—to explore the normal as well as the exceptional.

The case studies in this book are all drawn from the Indian experience. This volume aims towards a coherent and more nuanced understanding of violence that moves beyond the episodic to the systemic, structural levels of society and consciousness.

Re-Presenting Feminist Methodologies: Interdisciplinary Explorations. New Delhi: Routledge, 2017. Co-editor

Re-Presenting Feminist Methodologies: Interdisciplinary Explorations. New Delhi: Routledge, 2017. Co-editor

This book tracks the trajectory of gender in the social sciences and humanities through an exploration of the challenges and contradictions that confront contemporary feminist analysis as well as future directions. Drawing on research in India, the essays in the volume engage with the subject in breathtaking ways, each one going beyond documenting the persistence of gender inequality, instead raising newer questions and dilemmas while unravelling the complexities of the terrain. They also interrogate extant knowledge that has ‘constructed’ women as ‘agentless’ over the years, incapable of contesting or transforming social orders — by taking a close look at gendered decision-making processes and outcomes, sex for pleasure, healthcare practices, content and context of formal schooling, or the developmental state that ‘mainstreams’ gender. Do existing feminist methodologies enable the understanding of emerging themes as online sexual politics, transnational surrogacy, or masculinist ‘anti-feminist’ sensibilities? The feminist methodology delineated here will provide readers with a toolkit to assess the criticality of gender as well as its nuances. The work foregrounds the importance of intersectionality and builds a case for context-specific articulations of gender and societies that destabilise binary universals.

This volume will be useful to scholars and researchers across the disciplines of the social sciences and humanities, especially gender studies, women studies, feminism, research methodology, education, sociology, political science and public policy.

Telangana Social Development Report 2017, Hyderabad: Council for Social Development. 2017. Co-editor

Telangana Social Development Report 2017, Hyderabad: Council for Social Development. 2017. Co-editor

The Telangana State Social Development Report 2017 provides data necessary for planning in social sectors and with reference to the specificities of marginalised social groups in Telangana State. The TSDR was formulated in the first instance with specific reference to social demography, land and agriculture, consumption expenditure, health, education, housing amenities, and employment-unemployment across social groups in Telangana State.
Drawing largely on Census, NSSO and NFHS data, the TSDR aims to provide state specific data that will track shifts in socio-economic status in the districts that now comprise Telangana State drawing on data from 2001 and 2011 Censuses, along with corresponding data from the other sources. Given the criticality of social and economic precarity in Telangana State, we hope to develop a template that will be fine tuned annually for direct relevance in social policy with full reports coming out once in two years.

India Social Development Report 2016: Disability Rights Perspectives, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 2017. Co-editor.

India Social Development Report 2016: Disability Rights Perspectives, New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 2017. Co-editor.

The India: Social Development Report 2016—Disability Rights Perspectives presents new research in disability studies, a little understood subject in the social sciences and humanities in India, as also in the development discourse. The disproportionate disadvantage, exclusion and stigmatization suffered by persons with disabilities are caused by cultural, social and physical barriers that obstruct their effective participation in social and political life. Encompassing the diversity of life-worlds of persons with disabilities, the first part of the report presents research findings in the areas of health, socio-economic status, custodial facilities and psychiatric care for persons with psycho-social disabilities; Employment and labour, right to education, higher education, status of women and girls with disabilities and status of women with intellectual disabilities. The second part of the report deals with other critical aspects of social development such as ageing, housing, displacement, degrading labour, labour migration and financial inclusion. The third part presents the cumulative Social Development Index.

The Social Development Report 2016 addresses the fundamental elements of non-derogable rights of all citizens of India, illuminating the pathways to their realization for persons with disabilities in all their heterogeneity. By addressing the need for setting the constitutional standard of non-discrimination and dignity, the report also shows how entrenched social practices can be dislodged with appropriate, mandatory and necessary governance structures.

tsdr2018

Telangana Social Development Report 2018: Gender, Access and Well Being Editors: Kalpana Kannabiran, Padmini Swaminathan, J. Jeyaranjan Hyderabad: Council for Social Development, 2018

Telangana Social Development Report 2018: Gender, Access and Well Beingprovides baseline information covering information drawn from official data sources on a wide range of themes of social relevance with a focus on gender. The report aims at enabling the government of Telangana to arrive at evidence-based policies to address the several issues raised under each of the themes.

Forthcoming

Law, Society and Justice: Collected Works of Upendra Baxi (Volume 3: Sociology of Law) New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming 2019. Editor.

This volume is part of a four-volume compilation of writings by Professor Upendra Baxi. This volume contains a selection of his essays on the question of gender, legal ethnography, movements and law, resistance, rights and the social, and socio-legal theory, along with an introduction that threads together his vast corpus of work on law and society.

Dakshinayana Indian Thought Series: Telugu-English, Co-Edited with Volga. Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan. In press. Forthcoming 2019.

A series on progressive thought in Indian languages has been conceived of by GN Devy as consisting of one anthology in every major language containing important texts — songs, poems, stories, essays, letters, non-literary articles, extracts from iconic books, etc– already existing in published form.

Gender Regimes and the Politics of Privacy: Constitutional Conversations on Sociality in India. New Delhi: Zubaan. Forthcoming 2019. Co-author Swethaa Ballakrishnen

A monograph that explores the intersections of gender, privacy, law and sociality in India.