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Lesbian Fiction as Historical Fiction: Gender, Nationalism, and Sexual Politics in the South Asian Novel
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 4:00pm

Lesbian Fiction as Historical Fiction: Gender, Nationalism, and Sexual Politics in the South Asian Novel

Sridevi (Sri) Nair, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, Portland State University

DATE: Tuesday, May 14, 2013

TIME: 4:00 PM

LOCATION: PSU campus, Women's Resource Center, Mongomery Hall basement (1802 SW 10th & Montgomery St)

Drawing on her recent research, Dr. Nair will discuss two Indian novels about lesbian desire: Abha Dawesar’s Babyji (2005), and Manju Kapur’s A Married Woman (2003). She is particularly interested in the novels' turn from sexual desire to political history, as the protagonists become involved in caste and religious politics, and their sexual relationships end. This turn is captured by the vacillation of  literary form between Bildungsroman/ domestic novel and historical fiction. This formal instability, she argues, stages the gendered tensions inherent in imagining a politics of the body qua sexual subjectivity and identity within a socialist and secular nationalist body politic.

Sri Nair is Assistant Professor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Portland State University. Her research focuses on interpreting globalization from the perspective of gender and sexual ideologies and practices. Her current work includes an ethnographic study of transnationalism and diaspora via the gendered experiences of South Asian seniors; and a study of global white masculinities. Sri teaches feminist and critical race theory courses in addition to topics on masculinity and social identity and popular culture in the U.S.

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Institute for Asian Studies     |     503-725-8576     |     asianstudies@pdx.edu

Women's Resource Center     |     503-725-2795     |    wrc@pdx.edu

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