Studies in National and International Development


National and International Development

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

Date: Thursday April 19, 2018
Venue: Mackintosh-Corry Hall, D214
Time: 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Speaker: Charu Gupta, University of Delhi

Sponsored by SNID and supported through the Principal’s Development Fund.  Please note unusual time and location for this event.

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.



Charu Gupta

Charu Gupta teaches in the Department of History, University of Delhi. She 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. She is the author of Sexuality, Obscenity, Community: Women, Muslims and the Hindu Public in Colonial India (Permanent Black, Delhi, 2001 & Palgrave, New York, 2002) (paperbacks 2005, 2008, 2012; kindle e-book 2013), and The Gender of Caste: Representing Dalits in Print (Permanent Black, India & University of Washington Press, 2016; paperback 2017). She is also the editor of Gendering Colonial India: Reforms, Print, Caste and Communalism (Orient Blackswan, Delhi, 2012). She has published several papers in national-international journals on themes of sexualities, masculinities, caste and religious identities.