FMST Prof. Anjali Arondekar publishes new book, Abundance: Sexuality's History

July 26, 2023

Abundance by Anjali Arondekar

Congratulations to Feminist Studies Professor Anjali Arondekar on the publication of Abundance: Sexuality's History. (Duke University Press, Aug 2023).

In her latest book, Prof. Arondekar refuses the historical common sense that archival loss is foundational to a subaltern history of sexuality, and that the deficit of our minoritized pasts can be redeemed through acquisitions of lost pasts. Instead, Arondekar theorizes the radical abundance of sexuality through the archives of the Gomantak Maratha Samaj — a caste-oppressed devadasi collective in South Asia — that are plentiful and quotidian, imaginative and ordinary. 

For Arondekar, abundance is inextricably linked to the histories of subordinated groups in ways that challenge narratives of their constant devaluation. Summoning abundance over loss upends settled genealogies of historical recuperation and representation and works against the imperative to fix sexuality within wider structures of vulnerability, damage, and precarity. Multigeneric and multilingual, transregional and historically supple, Abundance centers sexuality within area, post/colonial, and anti/caste histories.

“By shifting our attention from the recuperation of sexuality as loss to understanding it as a site of abundance, Arondekar forces a reckoning with the knowledges of subaltern groups in the global South. Abundance will blow a wide hole in South Asian historiography as well as sexuality studies in the United States.” — Indrani Chatterjee, author of Forgotten Friends: Monks, Marriages, and Memories of Northeast India