South Asia

Organized Panel Session

50 - Remembering Queer Death: Interrupting Queer Teleologies in India

7/6/2018
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Juniper, New Building

For the last three decades, the Indian queer movements have emerged and articulated themselves through claims to political citizenship (campaign for the decriminalization of homosexuality), cultural citizenship (representation of non-normative genders and sexualities within popular media) and consumer citizenship (ability to participate in the free market). However, this promise of citizenship entails the active forgetting of the structures of violence that animate queer lives. It invisibilizes queer death because the violence of death interrupts narratives of progress. Thus, remembering queer death is an act of critique of state instituted violence. There is a rich body of scholarship around queer memory and representations of death. However, most of that work has emerged from the US. This panel hopes to start a conversation on queer death and memory in the context of the Indian queer movements. It brings together queer activists and academics to ask how might we remember queer death to complicate the modes of representation of the Indian queer movements. Maya Sharma talks about an inter-faith lesbian couple lost to violent deaths and the stakes of remembering them. Anindya Hajra gives a fractured account of friendships, deaths, and memories through the archives of a twenty-year-old transfeminine collective she helped found. Sayan Bhattacharya reads a photo book and a novel about a transgender woman to think about how the blurring of fact and fiction creates new possibilities for queer memory work. Finally, the scholars of transgender and queer studies in South Asia, Rushaan Kumar offers comments on all the three papers.

Presentations:

Sayan Bhattacharya

University of Minnesota, United States

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Maya Sharma

Vikalp, Women's Group, India

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Anindya Hajra

Pratyay Gender Trust, India

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Sayan Bhattacharya

University of Minnesota, United States

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Rushaan Kumar

Colorado College, United States

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Rukmini Sen

Ambedkar University, India

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