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Lecture: Doing queer studies in India

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
12:00pm – 1:30pm

Storrs Campus
Rainbow Center; Student Union 403

The Out to Lunch Gender, Sexuality, and Community is a weekly academic lecture and discussion series with guest scholars and community activists from various disciplines examining a variety of topics related to gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality. Each semester offers a broad sampling of the areas.

Today's lecture is entitled, "Doing queer studies in India: Challenges in transforming pedagogy" and it will be presented by Kaustav Bakshi.

Synopsis: Synopsis: In this talk Dr. Bakshi shall address the interesting history of emergence of queer studies in India, which is still an extremely marginal discipline, confined to a very few metropolitan universities. Then, he shall move on to the changes in social and cultural environment of India, especially, after India opened its economy, which, enabled the development of a queer pedagogy, owing to the emergence of a number of cultural and theoretical texts. Nonetheless, ‘reading queerly’ and ‘queer sexualities’ are more often than not confused, and old-school as well as young academicians are wary of the term ‘queer’ or anything that dismantles the heteronormative way of interpreting/doing things. Sharing anecdotes, personal accounts, and classroom situations, this talk will try to provide an interesting picture of how ‘queer’, as a marker of wide range of sexualities and desires, irreducible to fixed identity categories, and ‘queer’, as a powerful critical tool to deconstruct canonical texts, are still to find a respectable place within a largely homophobic Indian academia. The talk will focus on literary texts in particular, while explaining the need and challenges in developing a pedagogy suitable to the Queer Studies discipline. This is because it is majorly through the Department of English that Queer Studies entered the higher education institutes of India.

Biography: Dr. Kaustav Bakshi is Assistant Professor, Department of English, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. A Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow, his doctoral thesis, written with partial funding from the Trust, is entitled ‘Family, Sexualities and Ageing in Sri Lankan Expatriate Fiction: Kinship, Power Relations and the State'. A member of the editorial advisory board of Queer Studies in Media and Popular Culture (Intellect Bks.), he writes regularly on queer cultures of South Asia; and, one of his recent publications include an anthology on the cinema of Rituparno Ghosh, a queer Bengali filmmaker. The volume entitled, Rituparno Ghosh: Cinema, Gender and Art, published by Routledge in 2015, is the first book length auteur study of Ghosh.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunches.

Contact:

rainbowcenter@uconn.edu

Rainbow Center (primary), Asian American Studies Institute, English Department, Geography Department, UConn Master Calendar, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies

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