This thesis applies the principles of feminist and postcolonial methodology to analytically compare two types of oral history projects on women survivors from India’s 1947 Partition: grassroots feminist projects conducted by Indian feminists and activists Bhasin and Menon and Butalia; and the “1947 Partition Archive”, a depoliticized, open access digital repository of oral testimonies housed by the Stanford University Library. In analytically comparing the projects, the objective is two-fold: to recognize the potential of oral history as a feminist methodology that identifies participants as co-producers of knowledge where only by including them as active agents in the analysis, can new forms of feminist and anti-colonial knowledge emerge; and to argue that in order to ethically generate and share oral accounts in the digital age, where the danger of commodification can override the potential for democratization, there is a need to revisit questions of agency, empowerment and reflexive practices, ideals that are at the core of recent anti-colonial feminist research.
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