Past Event

A talk by Kareem Khubchandani (Tufts)

February 28, 2022
4:15 PM - 5:45 PM
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Queerness and Performance in South Asia Series

A talk by Kareem Khubchandani (Tufts)

"Dancing Against the Law: Critical Moves in Bangalore's Queer Nightlife"

Discussants:    Rishav Kumar Thakur (Doctoral candidate, Anthropology); Katherine Ewing (Religion)

Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion and Sexuality, and the Institute for the Study of Sexuality and Gender

Abstract: India's rights-based LGBTQ activism - legislation, public protest, film and web production - has centered on the decriminalization of sodomy, particularly the reading down of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.  In addition to 377, queer bodies have been criminalized by other laws, including a ban on dancing in Bangalore enforced between 2005 and 2012. Understanding rights and protest through the lens of the dance-ban instead of and alongside 377 allows for a more expansive understanding of who is queer in relation to the state, as well as an opportunity to center pleasure and creativity in protest and activism.

Kareem Khubchandani is the Mellon Bridge Assistant Professor of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Tufts University, and is affiliated with the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora. He holds an MA and PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and was the inaugural Embrey Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife (2020), which received the 2021 Outstanding Book Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE),  the 2021 Dance Studies Association de la Torre Bueno book award,  the 2021 MLA/ASA Alan Bray Memorial Prize honorable mention, and the 2019 Center for LGBTQ Studies Fellowship. Khubchandani co-edited, with Kemi Adeyemi and Ramón H. Rivera-Servera, the volume of Queer Nightlife (2021), and and curator of