Discussion Group 14 Jan: Sonia Wigh on Hair and Gender in North India
Please join us for the first of our monthly Renaissance Goo online work-in-progress meeting! (See here for more information about the group.)
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First up at 1pm on Friday 14th Jan 2021 is the IASH postdoctoral fellow affiliated with the Renaissance Goo project, Dr Sonia Wigh.
Dainty Bodies, Woolly Chests: Attitudes Towards Hair and Gender in Early Modern North India.
In early modern north India (1650-1800), bodily hair became an external characteristic associated with heat, masculinity, maturity, and higher intellect. Medically, women with ‘hotter constitutions’ exhibited more bodily and facial hair, and were supposed to be ‘oddities’, comparable to men or hermaphrodites. On the other hand, Persian poetry celebrated the downy glow of light facial hair (sabza-i khatt) or (nawkhatt) on the cheeks of the young beloved. By critically examining literary compositions, manuals of courtly conduct, medical texts, and visual representations, this paper will comment upon the multitude of attitudes towards bodily and facial hair, as well as their connection with the making of early modern South Asian gendered identities.
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Meeting ID: 849 6389 2026