Gender and Sexuality in South Asian Literature and Culture

2013 Special Number of the South Asian Review

Discussions of gender and sexuality in South Asia can be historically examined  in relation to colonial reform  measures that targeted women as a special constituency, and postcolonial models of development that emphasize women’s role in nation-building and development. In addition to the women’s movements in this region, activism that combines the struggles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and intersex (LGBTI) people, under the term queer, has emerged. These movements also assert their similarities to and differences from activism in the West.

The South Asian Review invites articles that explore gender and sexuality as constitutive of the South Asian experience in national and diasporic contexts.  Suggested topics include:

  • Mythical, ritualistic, and folkloric representations of gender and sexuality in scriptures, epics, and their contemporary interpretations
  • Literary and social constructions of masculinity and/or femininity, including gendered and sexualized violence and misogyny in colonial times, anti-colonial resistance movements, and postcolonial governance
  • Non-canonical texts (magazines, newspaper reports, oral histories, life-narratives) constituting the history of women’s writing in South Asia including significant moments of South Asian history (Partition, Naxalite movement, Bangladeshi Independence, Civil War in Sri Lanka, etc.)
  • Legacies of colonial legislation in postcolonial times, such as Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code, and Article 365 of the Sri Lankan Penal Code on ‘unnatural’ sexual acts, including recent changes in these laws
  • Recent publications addressing same-sex relations in South Asian history, culture, and literature including anthologies of critical and creative writing, fiction, poetry, and drama
  • Books, pamphlets, posters, documentaries, and films on the relevance of sexuality-based activism in South Asia
  • The impact of popular cinema and iconic figures in shaping constructions of gender and sexuality
  • Intersection of concerns of class, caste, gender, and sexuality in literary, cultural, and social spaces

Please send 500 word abstracts by June 30, 2013. Scholarly articles of 5,000-7,000 words in MLA format, along with a 50word bio-note, due by August 5, 2013.

All inquiries concerning the Special Number should be directed to:

Dr. Kanika Batra
Department of English
Texas Tech University,
Lubbock, TX 79409-3091
Tel 806-252-0086  ǀ  Fax: 806-742-098.  Email:

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Calls for Papers


August 5, 2013