Queer Theory, Activism and Cultural Practices

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSCC2VA2044

Semester and Year Offered: Winter 2016 & Winter 2018

Course Coordinator and Team: Shivaji K Panikkar

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: None, open for all MA programmes

Aim: To critically explore the interfaces of the queer theory, activism and cultural practices

Course Outcomes:

1. To instill critical perspectives inherent in the formulation of the concept of ‘queer’.

2. To the identity the historical formations of LGBTIQ movements.

3. To develop insights on the cultural practices that reflect these ideological shift-overs

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

First Module: Introduction to Queer Theory or Sexual Diversity Studies.

Second Module: History of Activisams.

Third Module: Various locations of queer cultural production; literature, film, performance & visual art.

Fourth Module: Queer cultures and Postmodern times/late capitalism; how lesbian and gay cultures become configured within debates on cosmopolitanism, nationalism & tradition.

Fifth Module: Issues of identity: Post-colonialism and sexualities: gender, class, race and caste; sexualities in the margins, articulations of resistance.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Class Participation: 30% (attendance 10%; responses 10%; asking questions 10%)
  • Viva-Voce for module 1 &2: 20% (due 4th week of February; grades issued 1st week of March)
  • Presentation: 20% (due 1st week of April; grades issued 2nd week of April)
  • End Term Paper: 30% (due 1st May; part of final grade computation)


Reading List:

  • Crimp, Douglas. “The Boys in My Bedroom.” Theories of Contemporary Art. Ed. Richard Hertz. New Jersey: 1993, 157-163.
  • Claude J. Summers (ed) The Queer Encyclopaedia of the Visual Arts, 2004.
  • Roman David, Acts of Intervention, Performance, Gay Culture, and AIDS, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1998.
  • Michael Warner (ed) Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory, London 1993.
  • Arthur Danto, The Photographic Achievement of Robert Mapplethorpe, University of California Press, London, 1996.
  • Mercer, Kobena. “Just Looking for Trouble: Robert Mapplethorpe and Fantasies of Race.” Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation & Postcolonial Perspectives. Ed. Anne McClintock, Aamir Mufti, and Ella Shohat. Minneapolis: 1997, 240-255.
  • Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, 1978
  • Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, 1990.
  • Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Epistemology of the closet, 1990.
  • Ann Cvetkovich, An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures, 2003.
  • Chrysanthil Nigianni & Meril Stoor, Delluze and Queer Theory, Edinburgh University Press Ltd
  • 22 George Square, Edinburgh, 1988.
  • Joseph Bristow, Sexuality, London & New York, 1997.
  • Schor, Mira. “Appropriated Sexuality.” Theories of Contemporary Art. Ed. Richard Hertz. New Jersey: 1993, 69-79.
  • Barbara Smith, Homophobia: Why Bring It Up?, The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, Ed. Henry Bell, D. and G. Valentine, Eds. (1995). Mapping Desire: geographies of sexualities. London, Routledge.
  • BInnie, J. (2004). The Globalization of Sexuality. London, Sage.
  • *Jeffrey Weeks, Janet Holland & Mathew Waites (Eds), Sexualty & Society, Polity Press, Uk, 2003.
  • *Judith Halberstam, The Queer Art of Failure, Duke University press, London, 2011.
  • *James T Sears, (Ed) Grwoing Older Perspectives on LGBT Aging, Routledge, London, 2010.
  • Brinda Bose and Subhabrata Bhattacharyya, (Edited) The Phobic and the Erotic, Seagull Books, Calcutta, 2007.
  • Sudhir Kakar, Homosexuality and the Indian,
  • Ranjit Hoskote, The Comic Mausoleum: Atul Dodiya’s ‘Shri Khakhar Prasanna’, Chemould Presscott Road, Mumbai, exhibition catalogue, 2007
  • Geeta Kapur, Bhupen Khakhar, exhibition catalogue Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, September, 2002, re-published as Saint Bhupen, exhibition catalogue Bhupen Among Friends: A Tribute to Bhupen Khakhar by Friends, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, 2005.
  • Hoshang Merchant, Yarana (1999)
  • Salim Kidwai & Ruth Vanita, Same Sex Love in India (2001)
  • Shivaji Panikkar, Introductory Essay, “Critical Interfaces in Jehangir Jani’s Artistic Explorations”, in Alternative Lyricism: Jehangir Jani, (ed) Ratnottama Sengupta, Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd., Ahmedabad, 2006.
  • Deeptha Achar & Shivaji Panikkar (Eds), Articulating Resistance: Art and Activism, Articles on Sexualities, Tulika, New Delhi, 2012
  • On line articles: Shivaji K Panikkar;
  • Abelove, Michele Aina Barle, David M. Halperin, Routledge, New York, 1993.
  • Gayatri Gopinath, Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures (Perverse Modernities)
  • Gayatri Gopinath, Queering Bollywood: alternative sexualities in popular Indian cinema.In Queer Asian cinema: shadows in the shade
  • Jigna desai, Beyond Bollywood: the cultural politics of South Asian diasporic film (chapter on gay cinema)
  • E Goldberg, The Lord Who Is Half Woman: Ardhanarisvara in Indian and Feminist Perspective
  • Charu Gupta, Sexuality, Obscenity, Community, Permanent Black, 2001. chapters 2, 4, 6, 7
  • Akhil Katyal, The Doubleness of Sexuality: Idioms of Same-Sex Desire in Modern India, New Text, New Delhi, 2016,
  • Akshay Khanna, Sexualness, New Text, New Delhi, 2016
  • John R. Clarke's, Looking at Lovemaking,



  • Allan Bérubé, Edited with an Introduction by John D’Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman, My Desire for History Essays in Gay, Community, and Labor History, The University of North Carolina Press Chapel Hill, 2011.
  • Allan Bérubé, Coming Out Under Fire The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1990
  • Andrew McCall, The Medieval Underworld, DORSET PRESS, New York, 1979.
  • Annemarie Jagose, Queer Theory an Introduction, New York University Press, 1996.
  • Cindy Patton and Benigno S.nchez-Eppler (ed), QUEER DIASPORAS, Duke Uni. Press, London 2000.
  • Claudette Kulkarni, Lesbians and Lesbianisms: A post-Jungian perspective, 1997, Routledge, London
  • Philip Brett, Elizabeth Wood, Gary C. Thomas.(ed), Queering the pitch : the new gay and lesbian musicology ,2nd ed. Routledge, New York, 2006.
  • George E.Haggerty, (ED) The Encyclopedia of Lesbian and Gay Histories and Cultures Volume II, Garland Publishing, Inc.New York and London, 2000
  • H.G. Cocks, Nameless Offences Speaking of Male Homosexual Desire in Nineteenth-Century England I.B. Tauris Publishers LONDON, 2003
  • David M. Halperin, One Hundred Years of Homosexuality And Other Essays on Greek Love, Rolltledge, New York, 1990.
  • Theo Sandfort, Judith Schuyf, Jan Willem Duyvendak and Jeffrey Weeks, (Eds) Lesbian and Gay Studies An Introductory, Interdisciplinary Approach, SAGE Publications, London, 2000.
  • Jeff Guaracino, Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide for Marketing, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 2007.
  • John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1980.
  • John C. Landreau · Nelson M. Rodriguez (Eds), Queer Masculinities, A Critical Reader in Education, Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg London, 2012.
  • John J. Winkler, The Constraints of 0esire: The Anthropology of Sex and Gender In Ancient Greece, Rutledge New York, 1990.
  • K.J. Dover, Greek Homosexuality, Harvard University Press,Cambridge, 1978.
  • Ken Plummer, (Edi ) MODERN HOMOSEXUALITIES: Fragments of lesbian and gay experience, Routledge, London, 1992.
  • Lauren Berlnt and Lee Edelman, Sex, or the Unbearable, Duke University Press, London,2014
  • Lee Edelman, Homographesis : essays in gay literary and cultural theory, Routledge, New, York, 1994 .
  • Lee Edelman, No Future Queer Theory and the Death Drive, Duke University Press, Durham, 2004
  • Lynda Johnston, Queering Tourism: Paradoxical performances at gay prideparades, Routledge studies in human geography,
  • Marjorie Garber, Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety, Routledge, London, 1992.
  • Joan Larkin and David Bergman (general editors) The End of Being Known A Memoir Michael Klein in Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies, The University of Wisconsin Press, 2003.
  • Michael S. Sherry, Gay artists in modern American culture: an imagined conspiracy, The University of North Carolina Press, 2007.
  • Mimi Marinucci, Feminism is Queer: The intimate connection between queer and feminist theory, Zed Books, London & New York, 2010.
  • Hubbs Nadine, The queer composition of America’s sound : gay modernists, American music, and national identity, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, 2004.
  • Peter Horne and Reina Lewis (Eds), Outlooks: Lesbian and gay sexualities and visual cultures, Routledge, London, 1996.
  • Queer Transexions of Race, Nation, and Gender, Social Text, Fall/Winter 1997, Duke University Press.
  • Phillip l. Hammack and Bertram j. Cohler (Eds), The Story of Sexual Identity Narrative Perspectives on the Gay and Lesbian Life Course, Oxford Uni. Press, 2009.
  • Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon, Who’s Who In Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History From World War II to the Present Day, Routledge, London, 2001.
  • Robin Griffiths, Queer Cinema in Europe, Intellect Books, Bristol, 2008.
  • Serena Nanda, Neither Man nor Woman: The Hijras of India, 2nd Edition, Wadsworth Publishing Company, Toronto, 1998.
  • Fetner Tina, How The Religious Right Shaped Lesbian And Gay Activism, (Social Movements, Winkler, John J, The Constraints Of Desire: The Anthropology Of Sex And Geader In Ancient Greece, Routledge, London, 1990.
  • Craft, Christopher, Another Kind of Love: Male Homosexual Desire in English Discourse, 1850-1920, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1994.
  • Cindy Patton, Globalizing AIDS (Theory Out Of Bounds, Volume 22), University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2002.
  • Cindy Patton, Last Served?: Gendering the HIV Pandemic, Social Aspects of AIDS, Series Editor: Peter Aggleton, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, Taylor & Francis, London, 1994.
  • Simon Watney, Imagine Hope AIDS and Gay Identity - Social Aspects of AIDS, Series Editor: Peter Aggleton Institute of Education, University of London, Routledge, London, 2000.
  • Bertram Schaffner, M.D, Androgyny In Indian Art And Culture: Psychoanalytic Implications, Journal of The American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 2001
  • Maithreyi Krishnaraj, Androgyny: An Alternative to Gender Polarity? Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 31, No. 16/17 (Apr. 20-27, 1996).
  • Anya Gurholt, The Androgyny of Enlightenment: Questioning Women’s Status in Ancient Indian Religions. McNair Scholars Program 2004 Summer Research Project, Department of History Westminster College.
  • Vinay Lal, Not This, Not That: The Hijras of India and the Cultural Politics of Sexuality, Social Text, No. 61, Out Front: Lesbians, Gays, and the Struggle for Workplace Rights (Winter, 1999), Duke University Press.
  • Geeta Patel, Home, Homo, Hybrid: Translating Gender Source: College Literature, Vol. 24, No. 1, Queer Utilities: Textual Studies, Theory, Pedagogy, Praxis (Feb., 1997), Published by: College Literature
  • Protest, and Contention, Volume 31), University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Year?
  • Aloka Parasher-Sen, Images of Feminine Identity in Hindu Mythology and Art: The Case of Visnu-Mohinï, Indian Journal of Gender Studies 1996, 6; 43, The online version of this article can be found at:, Sage Publication.
  • Rosalind O'Hanlon, Manliness and Imperial Service in Mughal North India, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 42, No. 1 (1999).
  • Michael J. Sweet and Leonard Zwilling, The First Medicalization: The Taxonomy and Etiology of Queerness in Classical Indian Medicine, Journal of the History of Sexuality, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Apr., 1993).
  • Robert P. Goldman, Transsexualism, Gender, and Anxiety in Traditional India , Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 113, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1993.
  • Ann Cvetkovich, An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Culture, 2003, Duke University press,
  • Chrysanthi Nigianni and Merl Storr (Eds) and Deleuze Queer Theory, Edinburgh University Press Ltd, Edinburgh, 2009.
  • Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Epistemology of the Closet, University of California Press Berkeley, 1990.
  • Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Tendencies, Routledge, London, 1994.
  • Noreen Giffney (Ed) The Ashgate Research Companion to Queer Theory, University of Limerick, Ireland, 2009.
  • Sudhir Kakar, Homosexuality And The Indian: India has a tradition of benign neglect of alternate sexualities,
  • Ruth Vanita, Homosexuality, Hinduism and Section 377 - Homosexuality and Religion
  • An Encyclopedia - (ed.) J. Siker, Greenwood Press, 2007.
  • Judith Butler, Gender Trouble Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, 1990,Routledge, London.
  • Judith Butler,. Bodies that matter, on the discursive limits of "sex”, Routledge, New York, 1990.
  • Judith Butler, Giving an Account of Oneself Diacritics, Vol. 31, No. 4, (Winter, 2001),
  • Ellen Lewin and William L. Leap, Out in Public Reinventing Lesbian/ Gay Anthropology in a Globalizing World, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2009.
  • MANDY MERCK, In Your Face: 9 Sexual Studies, New York University Press, New York, 2000.
  • With An Introduction by Lawrence D., Routledge, New york, 1988.
  • Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume I, II & III,
  • Michel Foucault, Ethics, Subjectivity And Truth, Ediled by PAUL RABINOW Translated by Robert Hurley And Others The Essential Works Of Michel Foucault 1954-1984 Volume One, The New Press, New York, 1994.
  • Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977 Edited by Colin Gordon Translated by Colin Gordon, Leo Marshall, John Mepham, Kate Soper, a Pantheon Books, New York, 1980.
  • Susan Sontag, Notes On "Camp”, 1964
  • Nivedita Menon, Gender – Chaper 14.
  • Navaneetha Mokkil, Shifting spaces, frozen frames: trajectories of queer politics in contemporary India, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 10: 1, 12 — 30,
  • Benjamin Shepard, Queer Political Performance and Protest: Play, Pleasure and Social Movement, Routledge, New York, 2010.
  • Rekha Pappu, Reconsidering Romance and Intimacy: The Case of the Single Unmarried Woman, 2012.
  • Bristow Joseph. Sexuality, Routledge, London, 1997.
  • Sunil Gupta, Culture wars: Race and queer art, in Peter Horne and Reina Levis (Eds.), Outlooks: Lesbian and Gay Sexualities and Visual Culture, Routledge, New York, 2002, pp- 170-177.
  • Shakutala Devi, The World of Homosexuals, Vikas Publishing House PVt. Ltd, 1977.
  • Michael warner , (Ed) Fear of A Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1993.