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

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Queering India is the first book to provide an understanding of same-sex love and eroticism in Indian culture and society. The essays focus on pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial gay and lesbian life in India to provide a comprehensive look at a much neglected topic. The topics are wide-ranging, considering film, literature, popular culture, historical and religious texts, law and other aspects of life in India. Specifically, the essays cover such issues as Deepa Mehta's recent and controversial film, Fire, which focused on lesbian relationships in India; the Indian penal code which outlaws homosexual acts; a case of same-sex love and murder in colonial India; homophobic fiction and homoerotic advertising in current day India; and lesbian subtext in Hindu scripture. All of the essays are original to the collection. Queering India promises to change the way we understand India as well as gay and lesbian life and sexuality around the world.

2002 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, LGBT Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415929493
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (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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