ABSTRACT

This article investigates the ways in which the Western theoretical construct of the feminist utopia has been rearticulated within the field of colonial and postcolonial studies. Particularly, it contends that Rokeya Hossain’s literary works innovatively use the framework of the feminist utopia to reimagine a decolonized nation premised on the ideals of gender equity and religious harmony. Using the scholarship of Barnita Bagchi, Sreejata Paul, Sandeep Banerjee, and Ralph Pordzik, among others, as a springboard, this article situates two of Hossain’s literary works—Sultana’s Dream (1905) and Padmarag (1924)—firmly at the intersections of feminist utopianism and postcolonial studies. By analyzing textual evidence and incorporating historical research on the Indigo Rebellion and the nationalist struggle for independence, the article also establishes ways in which Hossain reconfigures the discourse of nationalism by positioning the subjectivities of colonized women front and center.

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