Tracing his trajectory across three intellectual projects — one on queer Indian nightlife, the second on drag performance, and the most recent on the figure of the aunty in South Asian public culture — Kareem Khubchandani explores co-constitutive relationships between research, teaching, and artistry. He maps out his academic personas, the various roles he has been cast into by his research subjects, audiences, and students in order to center and interrogate the academic’s body. Where the scholar’s body is often obscured in preference for their mind, evacuating the body from academic labor is a luxury rarely available to queer people of color. This talk serves as an opportunity to collectively think through the pitfalls and possibilities of self-fashioning in the academy for minoritarian subjects.

Kareem Khubchandani is associate professor of theater, dance, and performance studies at Tufts University. He is the author of Decolonize Drag (2023) and the multiple award-winning Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife (2020). He is also co-editor of the Lambda Literary-nominated Queer Nightlife (2021), guest editor of ‘Critical Aunty Studies’ (Text and Performance Quarterly, 2022), and associate editor for GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. He also performs as LaWhore Vagistan, everyone’s favorite overeducated, over-opinionated, overdressed South Asian aunty.

In English
Organized by

B Camminga, Tunay Altay, Özgün Eylül İşcen, and Ruth Ramsden-Karelse

Image Credit © Mettie Ostrowski