Queering India: Same-Sex Love and Eroticism in Indian Culture and Society / Edition 1

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Little is known about same-sex love and eroticism in Indian culture, but this once forbidden subject is slowly receiving more attention. Here for the first time, this largely uninvestigated area of Indian culture is uncovered in Vanita's provocative collection of original essays. The topics are wide-ranging, covering film, literature, popular culture, historical and religious texts, law, and other aspects of life in India. With a comprehensive scope, contributors discuss a diverse range of examples, including the recent controversial lesbian film, Fire; a case of same-sex love and murder in colonial India; homophobic fiction and homoerotic advertising in current day India; lesbian subtext in Hindu scripture; and queering the Kama Sutra. Queering India provides a profoundly important new understanding of gay and lesbian life.

2002 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, LGBT Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415929509
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Vanita is Associate Professor of Liberal Studies and Women's Studies at the University of Montana. She is the co-editor of Same-Sex Love in India: Readings from Literature (2000).
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Colonial Transitions
1 The Politics of Penetration: Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code 15
2 Sultan Mahmud's Makover: Colonial Homophobia and the Persian-Urdu Literary Tradition 30
3 Doganas and Zanakhis: The Invention and Subsequent Erasure of Urdu Poetry's "Lesbian" Voice 47
4 Alienation, Intimacy, and Gender: Problems for a History of Love in South Asia 61
5 Eunuchs, Lesbians, and Other Mythical Beasts: Queering and Dequeering the Kama Sutra 77
Pt. 2 The Visions of Fiction
6 Loving Well: Homosexuality and Utopian Thought in Post/Colonial India 87
7 "Do I Remove My Skin?": Interrogating Identity in Suniti Namjoshi's Fables 100
8 "Queernesses All Mine": Same-Sex Desire in Kamala Das's Fiction and Poetry 111
9 Homophobic Fiction/Homoerotic Advertising: The Pleasures and Perils of Twentieth-Century Indianness 127
10 What Mrs. Besahara Saw: Reflections on the Gay Goonda 149
Pt. 3 Performative Pleasures in Theater, TV, and Cinema
11 A Different Desire, a Different Femininity: Theatrical Transvestism in the Parsi, Gujarati, and Marathi Theatres, 1850-1940 163
12 Queer Bonds: Male Friendships in Contemporary Malayalam Cinema 181
13 "I Sleep behind You": Male Homosociality and Homoeroticism in Indian Parallel Cinema 193
14 Queer Pleasures for Queer People: Film, Television, and Queer Sexuality in India 207
15 On Fire: Sexuality and Its Incitements 222
16 After the Dire 234
Notes on Contributors 245
Index 247
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