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Queer Selfhoods in the Shadow of Neoliberal Urbanism


  • Jisha Menon

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    • Jisha Menon is Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at Stanford University, 551 Serra Mall, Memorial Auditorium, Room 144, Stanford, CA 94305-5010


This article explores the political and performative shift in representations of same-sex desire within the context of neoliberal urbanism in Bengaluru, India. The affective shift from labile sexual practices to defiant assertions of sexual identity over the past two decades warrants a conjunctural analysis that tracks the intersections between neoliberal cultures of consumption and liberal rhetorics of equal rights and freedom of choice. Focusing on the queer subject in Mahesh Dattani's dramatic oevre, this article considers progressivist accounts of same-sex desire in neoliberal Bengaluru over the past two decades. By examining how non-normative sexual practices are disciplined into the epistemological categories of LGBT identity politics, the essay charts the itineraries of “queer” as it travels to India.