chapter  2
22 Pages

Tools, Tinctures, and Texts: Fashioning and Marketing the “Doctress” of Empire

This chapter focuses upon late Victorian India as a rich site of exchange between British women and educated Indian women. It examines how writing by educated and privileged Indian women participated within and responded to culture of colonial reform, and revealed the liberating potential of medical education for women as vexed trope that was articulated by administrative forces as well as native women themselves. The chapter examines how the field of modern medicine was one of many forces that helped to build identifying characteristics for new womanhood while opening its doors to select and exceptional Indian women. It suggests that images of colonial exchange and progress produced in work of Indian New Women and in representations by their English counterparts revealed the formation of an imagined sisterhood that validated colonial reform and highlights significance of medicine in notions of colonial modernity. The chapter focuses upon a figure whose path in some ways diverges from famous Indian women, Krupabai Satthianadhan.