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Tue, April 15, 2014

The Center for Women’s & Gender Studies is delighted to announce our 2014-16 Embrey Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Women's and Gender Studies:  Kareem Khubchandani, currently completing his PhD in Performance Studies at Northwestern University under the supervision of E. Patrick Johnson.  Khubchandani will join us in the Fall of 2014 for a two-year appointment.  Besides teaching our Feminist Research Methods and Senior Seminar courses next year, Khubchandani will give a lecture on his research as part of the Faculty Development Program.  

Interim Director Lisa Moore says, “Kareem rose to the top of a very competitive national search pool of more than 130 applicants.  This is the first stand-alone hire CWGS has ever made, and we are thrilled to be bringing one of the top young scholars in the nation to the University of Texas.”  Khubchandani will also be affiliated with the Center for Asian-American Studies and the South Asia Institute while at The University of Texas.

A performer and scholar, Khubchandani’s interests include LGBT Studies, social and vernacular dance practices, migrant populations, and ethnic/racial minorities, as well as drag performance, storytelling, and spoken word.  His dissertation, “Ishtyle: Queer Nightlife Performance in India and the South Asian Diaspora,” is a multi-sited ethnography that follows the lives of transnational migrants from across South Asia who come to international cities such as Bangalore and Chicago to work in the IT industry and related fields.  Khubchandani focuses on the experiences of immigrant gay men, who must live according to a variety of restrictive social scripts, including right-wing Hindu notions of masculinity and classed and minoritarian expectations of respectability.  Khubchandani documents the significance of gay nightclubs as spaces where performance, especially dance, allows South Asian gay men to temporarily deviate from these gendered social scripts and the constant expectations of respectability.  Through performances that he calls “ishstyle” (or “accented style”) they explore new, more capacious ways of being in the world.

“My entry into thinking about queer nightlife as a productive place of study stems from my introduction in 2001 to queer South Asian subcultures at a party in New York City called Sholay,” says Khubchandani.  “At Sholay, I witnessed performers such as Bijli, who enacted dance repertoires that I found strangely familiar to those I grew up with in my Indian community in Ghana.”  Khubchandani notes that part of what he calls “ishtyle” is “the use of Bollywood sound in these spaces, which produces unique interactions between on-stage performers, party attendees, DJs, and film visuals.”

Welcome Kareem Khubchandani!


Kareem Khubchandani Also Recommends the Following Links:

Bangalore-based troupe: Pink Divas

In the commercial gay scene in Chicago, Khubchandani's interlocutors turn to gay nightlife to escape everyday heteronormativities, however these spaces are rife with racism + and abjection - @5:00mins) in commercial club spaces.  Khubchandani examines how race comes to bear on romantic and sexual desire, similar to the ways Alok Vaid-Menon theorizes in his poem Tryna


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