Communal Trauma and Colonial Orthodoxy: Attachment Relationships as Colonies in Baldwin’s What the Body Remembers


  • Hamza Rauf Awan English Department, Forman Christian College University,Lahore


Communal Trauma , Violence Against Women (VAW) , Gender Discrimination , Intimate Colonization, Orthodoxy


Women are merely treated and considered as colonies and territories within the backdrop of any communal violence, domestic disruptions in particular, and partition or war in general. Shuana Singh Baldwin's novel What the Body Remembers brings into the limelight the forgotten and hushed voices of both women and intimate female partners who are subjected to gender discrimination, exposed to sexual assault and female objectification on the pretext of attachment bonds. Moreover, this study espouses the idea that even though the colonists are far gone, neo-colonists in the form of patriarchs propagate the orthodox colonial mentality, and their primary victims are women and attachment relationships. The purpose of this essay is to address certain questions: what is communal trauma, in what manner the colonist mentality has affected the feminine section, and how this colonial mentality has disrupted the communal, social, and filial spheres of life in the postcolonial age. The focal point of this study is to explore and examine the colonial mentality, gender discrimination, and issues faced by women in attachment relationships in the subcontinental communities, and how these issues result in communal trauma and repression of women, thereby rendering women as colonies.


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How to Cite

Rauf Awan, H. (2024). Communal Trauma and Colonial Orthodoxy: Attachment Relationships as Colonies in Baldwin’s What the Body Remembers. Pakistan Journal of Gender Studies, 24(1), 86–100. Retrieved from