Annual Colloquium - 2003
Doing and Undoing Women Gender Construction in Global Mediascapes
Associate Professor Department of Women and Gender Studies
University of California, Davis
Gopinath is a leading scholar in queer studies, postcolonial feminist theory, and Asian Diaspora literatures and cultures. She has published widely on South Asian diasporic film, literature, and popular culture, and is currently working on a book-length project, Impossible Subjects: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures.
In "Desi Dykes and Divas: Alternative Sexualities in Popular Indian Cinema," Dr. Gopinath will talk about the coincidental interest in Indian Popular cinema (a.k.a. "Bollywood") among mainstream audiences in the West and the new visibility of lesbian and gay representations within Bollywood cinema itself, inaugurated by Deepa Mehta's groundbreaking 1998 film, Fire. Fire, according to Gopinath, "radically altered the cinematic codes for alternative sexualities in Bollywood cinema" and revised within the Bollywood tradition itself and abroad thinking about Indian women's sexuality. (The term "desi" in her title refers to peoples of South Asian descent-including Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis,etc.-and literally means "someone who is of the land;" the term is used widely by South Asians.)