Sex, Terror and the Nation State Moderated Panel with Ali Asgar, Kaustav Bakshi, Debanuj DasGupta and Manisha Desai

Monday, March 27 / 4PM

HBL Class of 1947 Room

“Sex, Terror and the Nation State” / FLYER

What does the global war on terror have to do with sex/sexuality? How is gender identity, LGBT rights and the rise of aggressive nationalisms interconnected? How is the rise of religious nationalisms in South Asia entangled with American politics?

This conversational style panel discussion between prominent feminists and postcolonial sexuality studies scholars will situate the recent rise of ethnic nationalisms, anxieties with borders and violence against LGBT people in South Asia. Panelists will discuss how art and activism, questions about decoloniality, literary and policy studies are being mobilized during these precarious political times.

Brief Bios of Moderator and Panelists

Manisha Desai is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Connecticut. She is also a core faculty member of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute. Committed to decolonizing knowledge, her research and teaching interests include Gender and Globalization, Transnational Feminisms and women’s movements, Human Rights movements, and Contemporary Indian Society.

Kaustav Bakshi Assistant Professor of English Jadavpur UniversityKaustav Bakshi (at left) is Assistant Professor in English at Jadavpur University. He co-edited the critically acclaimed book Rituparno Ghosh: Cinema, Gender, Art (Routledge, Abingdon/New Delhi, 2015) with Rohit K. Dasgupta and Sangeeta Datta. This is the first critical anthology on filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh’s oeuvre of work, sexual identity politics and status as a queer cultural icon in Bengal and India at large. In 2015, he published “Funny Boy and the Pleasure of Breaking Rules: Bending Genre and Gender in ‘The Best School of All’” in Postcolonial Text, vol. 10, no.3 and 4; and the anthology Neocolonialism and Studies in Indian English Poetry (2008, reissued 2012).

Ali Asgar (below, at left) is a Bangladeshi artist who focuses primarily on body and space as a main element of their practice that often reflects their personal struggle with the conservative Bangladeshi attitude towards members of LGBTQ communities. Asgar uses their own body and self-imagery as a rudimentary element to walk the line between reality and the artifice of self-analysis. Currently in the US as an Artist Protection Fund Fellow in residence at the University of Maine, continuing politically inspired projects that emphasize trauma, dislocation, isolation, body politics and queer identity, Ali recently completed a solo performance project entitled Shameless at the Edward M. Kennedy Center (EMK, 2016) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Ali Asgar Artist Protection Fund Fellow in Residence Univ. of Maine

Debanuj DasGupta is Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) at the University of Connecticut, and affiliate faculty with UConn’s Human Rights Institute, Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (CHIP), and Asian/Asian American Studies Institute. Prior to returning to academia, Dr. Dasgupta’s work focused on international development, HIV/AIDS, LGBT rights and immigrant rights through several organizations in India and the US. He is the recipient of the Ford Foundation funded “New Voices Fellowship,” American Association of Geographers national award in Disability Studies, and the International AIDS Society Emerging Activist Award.

Sponsored by Asian/Asian American Studies Institute, India Studies Program, Department of Sociology, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, this event is free and open to the public.