Date of Award

Fall 12-10-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - History



First Advisor

Dr. Aryendra Chakravartty

Second Advisor

Dr. Court Carney

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Allen

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Sudeshna Roy


Feminist Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain lived a life of seclusion and oppression like many middle-class Muslim women in colonial India during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. During this period, Rokeya used writing as a tool to fight against the oppression women faced from the patriarchal society and reimagined their gendered position in society. Rokeya wrote two novels, Sultana’s Dream and Padmarag, both set in feminist utopian societies. In these works, Rokeya expresses that the problem to the oppression of women can be traced to the purdah system or the seclusion of women, the solution is to grow educational opportunities for women, which could lead women to create the ideal feminist utopian society that prioritized greater equality for women. These works give a glimpse of women’s lives during this period and show writing allowed Rokeya to create a legacy as a feminist that envisioned an idealistic society for women.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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