Transgressive territories: queer space in Indian fiction and film TRANSGRESSIVE TERRITORIES: QUEER SPACE IN INDIAN FICTION AND FILM Title and Department ______________________________________ Date TRANSGRESSIVE TERRITORIES: QUEER SPACE IN INDIAN FICTION AND FILM

Sucheta Choudhuri, Sucheta Choudhuri, Sucheta Choudhuri
2009 unpublished
This dissertation argues that the representation of queer space in colonial and postcolonial Indian fiction and film counters the marginalization of the sexual dissidents, both in the Indian nation-state and the Indian diaspora. The spatial reclamation in these texts, I contend, also interrogates the received notion of queer empowerment by shifting the emphasis from visibility and inclusion to alternative agential modes such as secrecy and camouflage. This departure from liberal Eurocentric
more » ... ourses defines the essence of my project. The main body of my dissertation consists of analysis of texts by Anglophone, regional and diasporic Indian writers and filmmakers: Rabindranath Tagore's short stories (c. (2003). I examine the different ways in which these texts represent queer space and how they imagine an alternate cartography for the disenfranchised sexual citizens. In order to contextualize the process of this dispossession, I examine the relationship between colonialism, nationalism and alternative sexualities by focusing on the contemporary historical and theoretical debates around the issues. My theoretical framework combines two emergent discourses in contemporary academia: cultural geography and postcolonial rethinking of the constructions of gender and sexuality. In the texts that I examine, queer space emerges as a site of contestation with an underlying consciousness of conflicts, not as utopian loci of disconnection with reality.