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Kathryn Gjorgjiev

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Performing Terror, Mediating Religion: Indian Cinema and the Politics of National Belonging

 A Gender Institute discussion led by Sunera Thobani

  • Wednesday 4th December 2013 (originally posted as Tuesday 3rd December)
  • 6-7.30pm
  • Room 32L.G.18,  32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE
  • Chaired by Dr Marsha Henry

In 2002, the Indian state of Gujarat erupted in violence against Muslims that left at least two thousand dead, thousands homeless and hundreds of women raped and assaulted. The relation between nation, religion, and gender has often been violent in the South Asian context, no less so with the emergence of India as a major economic power in the early 21st century. This presentation examines what the Gujarat genocide reveals about the Indian nation-state and its particular forms of religious and gendered identities. It also examines the symbiotic relation between the nation-state and the Indian film industry, which plays a critical role in mediating forms of national subjectivity and belonging.

Dr. Sunera Thobani is Associate Professor at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia.  She has served as Director of the Race, Autobiography, Gender and Age (RAGA) Centre (2008-12) and is founding member of Researchers and Academics of Colour for Equity (RACE), a cross-Canada network promoting the scholarship of academics of colour and of Indigenous Ancestry. Dr. Thobani was also past President of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC), Canada’s then largest feminist organization (1993-1996).

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