Herbert Marcuse (1898–1979), the German-American philosopher and political theorist who was a prominent member of the Frankfurt School of critical social theory, envisioned a new form of feminist socialism in which Eros, desire, the domain of the body and the passions, would be restored to its proper place as equal to Logos, reason. In this talk Savita Singh will explore the politics of Eros articulated by Marcuse through an analysis of the politics of ecofeminism in contemporary India. She will examine a range of anti-development struggles in India, from the work of ecofeminist activists Medha Patkar and Vandana Shiva to the Chipko movement to tribal protests in Odisha, and will suggest that these struggles give concrete expression to a Marcusean vision of a feminist socialism that seeks to establish a balance between Eros and Logos and between the forces of life and death.
Savita Singh is a Professor in the School of Gender and Development Studies at Indira Gandhi National Open University. A political theorist and feminist poet, her research interests focus on feminist political theory, epistemology, and aesthetics; women’s labor issues; and the discourse of modernity in India. Her recent publications include Fathoming the Depths of Reality: A Conversation between Roy Bhaskar and Savita Singh (2019).
Sponsored by the IHC South Asian Religions and Cultures Research Focus Group