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Death and Family: Queer Archives of the Space Between

Centre for Ethnography Speaker Series, Fall 2012

In this paper, I address the relationship between absence and
presence,
success and failure, in Indian queer life. I argue that queerness
resides
precisely (even only?) in the space between absence and presence, in
what
I think of as the space of intimacy, or a struggle between the will to
know and a willingness to acknowledge some things as unknowable. I
study
two central archives in Indian queer history: death and family. One is
marked by absence and failure, and the other, by normativity and
presence.
But I hope to show that both are constituted through a continuous play
of
presence and absence; moreover, that neither condition has any clear
value
on its own. Death and family: in queer life, each is also the
other.

 




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