World and Queer Anthropologies and the Question of Legal Reform

Photo credit: Vinayak Das, Bengaluru Pride 2009 (flickr)

Date/Time: 22nd of May, 14:30-15:30

Place: Bergen Global (Jekteviksbakken 31)

It is our pleasure to invite you to a talk with Svati Shah, about the topic of “World and Queer Anthropologies and the Question of Legal Reform”

In this talk, Svati will discuss an initiative to assess the ways in which queer theory has opened up a space in academic and policy research to think expansively about sexuality and gender in the Global South.

The past decade has seen a steep rise in work on LGBTQI+ sexuality and on gender identity throughout the world. Much of this work, especially that produced from academic and independent scholarship in Africa and South Asia, has been deployed using field research methods, but often without the benefit of reflecting on the history of those methods and the knowledge they do and do not produce.

Reviewing scholarship in queer and transgender studies from Africa and South Asia in particular, a set of priorities emerge that are specific to the histories of these regions. These include critiques of recent changes in the law, as well as uses of the law by states to assert nationalist aims through the appearance of tolerance, as in India, or its opposite, as in Uganda.

The talk will end by discussing implications for a field-level intervention that merges critiques from both Queer Anthropology and from World Anthropologies.

Food and drinks will be served at the event.

More about the participant:

Svati P. Shah is an Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. They are also a research associate in the University of Pretoria’s Department of Anthropology, Archaeology and Development. Dr. Shah is a social anthropologist who has written extensively on questions of sexuality and political economy in India, including on questions of sex work and migration, and queer politics and nationalism.

This event is part of the RDV WEBINAR SERIES, which is a collaboration between the Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism and the Centre on Law and Social Transformation at the University of Bergen. The RDV webinar series is an interdisciplinary webinar where we invite national and international researchers to talk about their pioneering research on topics regarding law, democracy and welfare.

Photo credit: Vinayak Das, Bengaluru Pride 2009 (flickr)