J. Devika

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

J. Devika
OccupationResearch scholar
GenreWomen's studies,Sociology,History
Notable worksKulasthreeyum Chanthappennum Undayathengane

Dr. J. Devika (full name Jayakumari Devika) is a Malayali historian, social critic, and feminist from Kerala. She currently teaches and researches in Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum as an associate Professor[1] and has authored several books, and articles on gender relations in early Kerala society.[2] She is bilingual and has translated both fiction and no-fiction books between Malayalam and English. Also she writes on contemporary politics and culture in Kerala on the team blog www.kafila.org.[3]


Devika did her Master of Arts in Modern History (1991) from Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and obtained her PhD in History from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam[1]


Devika's early research was about the emergence of modern binary gender as a language of describing society and social change in the early twentieth century in Kerala. In her later writings, she has followed the gendering of development in Kerala through a history of public consent for contraception between the 1930s and 1970. She has also published translations of writings by first-generation feminists in Kerala Her Self: Early Writings on Gender by Malayalee Women 1898-1938 [4][5] In her later research, Devika explores contemporary political and social issues through a historical lens and her concerns are wider than gender, and rather, focus on intersectional power. Her later books have been about gender and politics in twentieth century Kerala, and about the gendered history of the Malayali literary public. She has published several essays in academic journals published from within and outside India, and delivered several talks around the world.

Devika also writes extensively in Malayalam, in contemporary publications. She has published an introduction to feminist theory that places it within the history of modern western thought, titled Streevadam, and published in 2000. In her book Kulasthreeyum Chanthappennum Undaayathengine? she gives an alternative reading of Kerala history from the feminist perspective. She traces Kerala's social and political history and providing interesting insights. For example she explains how dress code of saree and dowry became prevalent in Kerala. The Hindu reports in their review "Authored by J. Devika, Associate Professor at the CDS, the book is an incisive take on the invisible spaces to which women have been consigned in conventional history and reaches out to the silent depths where women's powerful actions and articulations of the past lay buried. The book, an attempt to centre-stage women in Kerala history, looks how false notions about women got reinforced in the public mind because of the accounts in the "neutral" history texts, how freedom has eluded Kerala women despite their high educational entitlements and what role they have played in major historical junctures.".[6]Kulasthreeyum Chanthappennum Undaayathengine? is available in Creative Commons licence.

Devika has translated number of books from Malayalam to English. Notable among them are the translation of Nalini Jameela's autobiography[7] and the short stories of K R Meera and Sarah Joseph [8][9] Also translated the well acclaimed novel Malayalam novel 'Hangwoman' K. R. Meera [10] in 2014. It was very well received, IBNlive wrote Many say that translated books do not or may not have the same impact as reading the book in the original; however, the translator for this book, J Devika has done a spectacular translation. [11]

Devika is also a social and political commentator who writes regularly on social and political issues focused on Kerala on www.kafila.org.

She has also written for children, and her work was published by the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishat.


  1. ^ a b "Centre For Development Studies". cds.edu. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Centre For Development Studies". cds.edu. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  3. ^ About | Kafila
  4. ^ Devika, J (2005). "Her Self: Gender and Early Writings of Malayalee Women". ISBN 9788185604749.
  5. ^ The Hindu : Literary Review / Book Review : Continuing struggle
  6. ^ The Hindu : Kerala / Thiruvananthapuram News : An untold story, with no strings attached
  7. ^ archive.indianexpress.com/news/nalini-s-story/225004/
  8. ^ Yellow is the Colour of Longing | The Caravan – A Journal of Politics and Culture
  9. ^ Feminist Review – yellow is the colour of longing
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ [2]