Kaamya Talwar Sharma Humanities and Social Science
Examining Queer Subjectivity in Urban India
My research will examine queer subjectivity in urban India, focusing on the role of virtual spaces in the development of queer identities. Through interviews and virtual participant observation, my project will use a sociological, post-constructivist, post-colonial approach to explore what the process of realization of ones non-heterosexuality feels like in urban India. Specifically, how do globalization and class, as well as the associated language, discourses, and interaction with queer spaces, affect the queer urban Indians experience of sexuality? Related questions include how and why online and offline discourses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, hijra, kothi, plus (hereon referred to as LGBTQHK+) empowerment differ; how the post-colonial legacy of English speaking affects the process through which LGBTQHK+ individuals negotiate their identity, legitimacy, and visibility; and what the role of Hinglish is in this matter. My research will provide a perspective that is not centred in the West, and that resists the Western liberal construct that the manner in which the West has experienced sexuality in the recent past is the only, and the right, way.