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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

WSA Staff Seminar Series: Rohit Dasgupta Seminar

Origin: 
Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media
Rohit Dasgupta
Time:
16:00 - 18:00
Date:
20 May 2015
Venue:
Harvard Suite (Room number: 3032), Winchester School of Art

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Professor John Armitage at J.Armitage@soton.ac.uk .

Event details

No Femmes and Vernaculars: Effeminophobia and Class-ed Desires in Digital Queer India

Abstract:

Since the early 2000’s there has been an emergent alignment of non-western queer cultures in countries such as India with a global queer assimilation.

One of the configurations of this global queering has been configuring the queer man as ‘normative’ respectable masculine subjects. This has given rise to a new lexicon within queer culture where ‘straight acting’ and being able to pass off as heterosexual is packaged as a desirable subject position. This has led to gay men 'playing up' to their masculinity and dispelling any notion of femininity in their behaviour.

In this presentation based on two years field work in Kolkata, New Delhi and Barasat and virtual ethnography over three digital sites (Facebook, Planet Romeo and Grindr) I shall explore the ways in which effeminate subject positions are derided within online queer spaces in India (particularly kothi men). In doing so I would like to demonstrate two important points.

Firstly, that contemporary gay politics in India (as elsewhere) has taken a homonormative position, which in its desire to conform to mainstream culture (privileging gender normativity), subjectively discriminates against positions that are deemed 'too transgressive'. The concept of 'too transgressive' is something I will arrive at during the course of this paper.

The second point I seek to make, builds up on my previous work (Dasgupta, 2014)– that of critiquing the community and utopic discourse of online queer spaces, which, as I shall demonstrate here, thrives on difference and discrimination rather than commonality.

Biography:

Rohit K Dasgupta teaches on the global media pathway at WSA. He is completing a doctoral degree with a thesis titled 'Digital Queer Spaces: Interrogating Identity, Belonging and Nationalism in Contemporary India' at the University of the Arts London.

His research interests are queer media, digital culture, protest movements and Indian Cinema.

Speaker information

Rohit Dasgupta, University of Southampton. Lecturer in Global Media

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