Dissertation Title: “Trans Worlding Within: Decolonial Literary Examinations of Trans of Color Interiority”
Research Interests: Decolonial Theory, Trans of Color Critique, Queer of Color Critique, African Diaspora, Postcolonial Literature
This first-of-its-kind anthology brings together the best of contemporary queer poetry from South Asia, both from the subcontinent and its many diasporas.
The anthology features well-known voices like Hoshang Merchant, Ruth Vanita, Suniti Namjoshi, Kazim Ali, Rajiv Mohabir as well as a host of new poets. The themes range from desire and loneliness, sexual intimacy and struggles, caste and language, activism both on the streets and in the homes, the role of family both given and chosen, and heartbreaks and heartjoins. Writing from Bangalore, Baroda, Benares, Boston, Chennai, Colombo, Dhaka, Delhi, Dublin, Karachi, Kathmandu, Lahore, London, New York City, and writing in languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Urdu, Manipuri, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, and, of course, English, the result is an urgent, imaginative and beautiful testament to the diversity, politics, aesthetics and ethics of queer life in South Asia today.
Visibility or Complicity? Western Capitalism Gets its Hands on the Hijab.
Western capitalism gets its hands on the hijab
The Trouble with the Model Muslim: Islamophobic Muslims and the War on Terror.
Islamophobic Muslims and the War on Terror
Appropriating Audre: On the Need to Locate the Oppressor Within Us
On The Need to Locate the Oppressor Within Us
Reading Chimamanda Adichie Today: On Racism and Transphobia in Feminism.
On Racism and transphobia in feminism
Queering Islamophobia: The Homonationalism of the Muslim Ban
The Homonationalism of the Muslim Ban
Bitch Media's 2017 Writing Fellow in Global Feminism Introduces Herself.
Trans of Color Relationality: Ancestral Ties and Ecstatic Shape-Shifting in Jackie Kay’s Trumpet.
Aftab analyzes the work Trumpet.
The Sexual Subaltern in Court: The Obscenity Trial of Ismat Chughtai’s ‘Lihaaf’ and Saadat Manto’s ‘Boo.
In November 1946, Ismat Chughtai and Saadat Hasan Manto entered the Lahore High Court, indignant at the charges of obscenity being hurled at their literary productions.
Even before the trial began, the court proceedings were anticipated to be so affectively charged that some audience members even offered to pay fines on behalf of the writers. As the trial commenced, the writers’ lawyer asked the witnesses to provide textual evidence for the obscenity of the stories under question. By deflecting the panopticonian light on individualized words rather than cultural interpretations of the narratives, the lawyer left the witnesses in a verbal conundrum. There was general consensus in the court that the stories felt obscene, but somehow there was no textual evidence to substantiate this collective affect of discomfort. Keen to condemn the stories, the witnesses threw out words such as “breasts” or “lovers” at the judge, words that ended up providing inadequate evidence for obscenity. Why did the witnesses rebuke the narratives as obscene, but fail to describe or name the obscenity in them? From The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literature. 2019.