Sexualities and the National Body in Asia: an Interdisciplinary Symposium


Tuesday, November 6, 2007 12:00 noon-4:30 p.m.

12:10 pm-1:30 p.m. Rose Art Museum

1:40 pm-4:30 p.m. Women's Study Research Center, Brandeis University


This symposium, sponsored by the Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies working group, explores the broad range of sexualities and gendered expression in Asia and Asian Diasporas. Topics to be explored will range from "third sex" cultural politics; Gay activism in Xi'an,China; South Asian queer weddings in transnational perspective; and representations of violent women in India; and the politics and poetics of gay Japanese literature.

The symposium is held in "conversation" with the works of art by Indian women artists in the exhibition "Tiger by the Tail" at the Women's Studies Research Center and the Rose Art Museum. Co-sponsors include the Women's and Gender Studies Program, the Department of Anthropology, the M.A. program in Cultural Production, and the Japanese Studies colloquium series. Co-conveners are Ellen Schattschneider, Sarah Lamb, Matthew Fraleigh and Harleen Singh.

12:10 pm-1:30 pm Rose Art Museum. Roundtable on Indian Women's art video installations.
Participants (tentative list): Ulka Anjari, Mark Auslander, Rajeswari Mohan, Jyoti Puri, Michael Rush, Nancy Salzer, Ellen Schattschneider, Harleen Singh.

1:40 pm-4:30. Women's Study Research Center. Sexualities and the National Body in Asia



1:40-45 Welcome and framing remarks (Ellen Schattschneider)

Panel I. Figuring the National Body in South Asia

1:45-2:10 Jyoti Puri (Simmons College) “Sexualizing the State of the Nation: Sodomy Law in India”
2:10-2:35 Raji Mohan (Haverford College) "Femininity, Maternity, and Masquerade in Santosh Sivan's The Terrorist"
2:35-2:50 Commentary by Ulka Anjari and Harleen Singh
2:50-3:00 General discussion

3:00-3:10 Break

Panel II Sexuality, Power and Literature in Japan

3:10-3:35 Keith Vincent (Boston University) ""Queer Pasts and Straight Futures: Homosocial Narrative in Modern Japanese Fiction"
3:35-3:40 Commentary by Matthew Fraleigh
3:40-3:45 General Discussion

Panel II Reports from the Field: Transnational Asian Sexualities

3:45-3:55 Casey Miller. "Manifold Margins: Locality, Nationality, and Internationality of Chinese Gay Organizations"
3:55- 4:05 Faris Khan. "Diasporic Queer South Asian Weddings"
4:05-4:15 Bea Moolenaar. "Chinese Heritage Travel and Gendered Selves & Sexualities"
4:15-4:25 Commentary by Ellen Schattschneider and Sarah Lamb
4:25-4:30 General Discussion

4:30 Reception


Coordinator: Ellen Schattschneider

Co-conveners: Ellen Schattschneider (Anthropology), Matthew Fraleigh (German, Russian and Asian Languages), Sarah Lamb (Anthropology) Harleen Singh (German, Russian and Asian Languages)

Co-sponsors: Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies Working Group, Cultural Production, Women & Gender Studies, the Department of Anthropology