Research project : “Mourners, Martyrs and Witnesses: The Gendered Voice of the Moharram Lament”
Vidya Rao proposes to write on the laments recited/sung by Shia women during the Islamic month of Moharram. During this time, people of the Shia community meet and mourn, through song and speech, the martyrs of the historic battle of Karbala. Focusing on the women’s majlis or assembly, she attempts to understand the gendered nature of the women’s laments by analyzing the different musical, poetic and declamatory genres performed by them as part of the mourning. She explores how gender is inscribed into these texts via the use of specific linguistic registers, musical genres, poetic styles and themes. And she tries and understand the ways in which, through the mourning rituals and songs, women express feelings about war and violence, pain and loss, both personal and communal, as also how the tragedy of Karbala links in their minds with current issues, problems and situations in their lives and in the world today.
More info: http://www.iea-nantes.fr/en/chercheurs/chercheurs-2012-2013/bdd/personne_id/236