We, the Centre for Studies in Gender and Sexuality at Ashoka University and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University, are excited to invite you to join us for the third session in our collaborative series, Theory and Practice: Transnational Conversations on Gender and Sexuality, on February 19th, at 9 pm IST/ 10:30 am ET.
The session will feature Dean Spade (an American lawyer, writer, trans activist and Associate Professor of Law at Seattle University, School of Law (U.S.A.)), Flavia Agnes (a women’s rights lawyer, writer, and a co-founder of MAJLIS, a legal and cultural resource center in India) and Rahul Rao (a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the Department of Politics and International Studies at London School of Economics (U.K.)) in conversation on Bodies, Sexualities, and the Law. Any expression of desire and sexuality, in theory and lived experiences, across time and culture, is haunted by the spectre of the law. The laws, supported by the socio-political enforcement of stringent norms, constantly produce bodies and sexualities that become “deviant” and “undesirable.” The most recent manifestations of such laws include one against cross-religious desire in India (commonly referred to as “love jihad”), and the ongoing struggle against abortion bans, and for transgender rights, in the U.S. At the same time, there has also been an expansion of legal recognition to previously marginalized groups, such as the decriminalization of homosexuality in 2018, and the 2014 judgement regarding transgender persons, in India, and the recent recognition of same-sex marriage in the U.S. How do we make sense of these struggles with the law? This panel will seek to unpack the relationship between law and sexuality in the context of contemporary politics and culture. The session will be moderated by Madhavi Menon (Director, CSGS Ashoka), followed by 20 minutes of Q&A with the audience.