Dr. Yasmin Saikia is the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies and Professor of History at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at Arizona State University. Her recent book Women, War and the Making of Bangladesh: Remembering 1971 (2011) has won numerous awards and been the subject of an international speaking tour.
The “hidden” narratives of men and women of the 1971 war offer an entry point to reflect on the dilemma of sexual violence and memory in Bangladesh and Pakistan today. Men’s personal recollections of the war experiences have not been entered into the official records of history and women’s experiences of sexual violence being relegated to the margins as “lies” and/or “shame” discourage public engagement. The complex story of the construction of the Other in gendered, ethnic and religious terms is fearfully remembered today in private spaces in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
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Peace & Conflict Studies, History, and Women’s Studies at the University of Waterloo
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Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6