Gender, Sexuality, and Occupation PreConference

This feminist preconference, organized by the Critical Kashmir Studies collective,* will attempt to think through the connections between gender, sexuality and militarized occupations across South Asia and its diasporas. As solidarity for Kashmiri self-determination has grown both within South Asia and its diaspora, so has the repression of critical conversations about occupation, particularly within India. We see this moment as offering a timely occasion to think critically about militarized occupations and their gendered legacies across South Asia more widely. Accordingly, we hope to foster a critical conversation about occupation as a feminist and queer issue, fundamentally inflected by the categories of caste, class, religion and not least, race. We invite submissions that engage with feminist and queer studies in thinking through the spatial and temporal dimensions of historical and contemporary occupations across South Asia and its diasporas, be it in Kashmir, Chattisgarh, Assam, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Balochistan, Tibet, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or beyond. 

The following is a selective (but not exhaustive) list of questions in which participants may anchor their reflections: How might a focus on occupation speak to, draw upon, and potentially revise existing South Asian feminist theorizations of the relationship between feminism, nationalism, and transnationalism? Or indeed decenter “South Asia” as a geopolitical category, as occupied populations emphasize alternate geographies of belonging? How are notions of indigeneity and belonging deployed to ground claims by both, occupying powers and those who resist them, and what are the gendered dimensions of such notions? What are the predominant forms, sites and publics of cultural production in response to occupation? Can the paradigm of settler colonialism, salient in studies of occupation in US/Canada and Israel/Palestine, for example, be brought to bear on occupations in South Asia, or do the latter demand a different analytical vocabulary? Furthermore, how might diasporic South Asians think through their implication in occupations elsewhere? How might a focus on militarized occupations and their histories enable a rethinking of conventional gendered geographies of nations and nationalisms? 

Interested participants are requested to send titles and 150-word abstracts by June 15th to CriticalKashmirStudies@Gmail.Com 

* The Critical Kashmir Studies collective are: Mona Bhan (Depauw University), Haley Duschinski (Ohio University), Hafsa Kanjwal , Deepti Misri (University of Colorado Boulder), Ather Zia (University of Northern Colorado). 

Keywords: gender, sexuality, occupation, violence, Kashmir, North-East India, Balochistan, East Pakistan, Tibet, Afghanistan