University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

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.


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

Control Panel