Servants in India are the Topic of Next Colleges’ Fisher Center Lecture – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Servants in India are the Topic of Next Colleges’ Fisher Center Lecture

The theme “Laboring Under Globalization” continues with a discussion of servants for India's middle class.

January 29, 2003 GENEVA, N.Y.— Sociologist Raka Ray will discuss “India's Globalizing Middle Class and the Imperatives of Domestic Servitude” as part of the Fisher Center lecture series at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Colleges campus. She will also participate in a roundtable discussion the following morning at 8:45 a.m. in the Fisher Center (212 Demarest Hall). All events are free and open to the public.

Associate professor of sociology and South and Southeast Asian studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Ray studies how the institution of domestic servitude has, since the late 19th century, been constitutive of middle-classness such that even that segment of the middle class which sees itself as the vanguard of the Indian “global modern” cannot imagine a modern home without a servant. For Ray, the “servant problem” can be read as a metaphor for the changes wrought by middle class India’s confrontation with a new economic and social order. Ray’s areas of scholarship also include women’s movements in the Third World. Her most recent book is “Fields of Protest: Women’s Movements in India,” and she is currently co-editing “Rethinking Class and Poverty: Social Movements in India in a Transnational Age”.

Fisher Center lectures and seminars provide a forum for students, faculty and community members to explore gender issues. The Center, founded with a $1 million gift from Emily and Richard Fisher, whose son Alexander graduated from Hobart College in 1993, seeks to foster mutual understanding and social justice in contemporary gender issues. More information is available at the Fisher Center Web site