Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

Charu Gupta,
University of Delhi

Sex in Translation in Post/Colonial India: Vernacular Archives and Global Itineraries

Regulating Romance: Hindus, Muslims and Proscribed Pleasures in Modern India

This talk will juxtapose disjunctive invocations of Hindu male prowess and constructions of ‘licentious’ and sexually ‘ferocious’ Muslim male on the one hand, and assertions of recalcitrant romance on the other, in modern India. Taking as its cue manufactured campaigns by hegemonic homogenized Hindu identities and patriarchies around ‘abductions’ and conversions of Hindu women by Muslim men in early twentieth century colonial north India and in present-day India under the supposed threat of ‘love jihad’, the talk will probe intersections between masculinities, sexualities, religious identities, intimate lives and political articulations. The talk will reflect on how the arc of Hindu female desire for men outside the community, even while reifying heteronormativity, means that such desire is visceral and tactile, though it can only be acknowledged when it is being regulated as transgression, producing moral panics and everyday violence along the alliance model of sexuality, where through the arrangement of marriages, relations and boundaries of religion are policed.

Abstract: Dr. Gupta was recently a Visiting Professor and ICCR Chair at the University of Vienna. She has been a Visiting Faculty at the Yale University, the Washington University and the University of Hawaii. She has also been a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Delhi, the Social Science Research Council, New York, the Asian Scholarship Foundation, Thailand, the Wellcome Institute, London, and the University of Oxford.

April 19, 2018
MC D214
5:00 pm