Abstract

abstract:

This article develops the notion of "queer desi kinships" as a disaporic balm to counter the ravages of Partition, the 1947 separation of India and Pakistan by British imperialism. The term "desi" refers to ethnically South Asian individuals, but broadly translates to "countryperson"—a translation that emphasizes kinship over nation. The two authors offer autoethnographic accounts of their own estrangement from each other in white and Western contexts within academia, and trace its roots to Partitioning that relies on anti-Muslim and anti-queer sentiment, Hindutva, and casteism. In retelling these accounts, the authors tease out queerly desi ways of performing kinship–khamoshi, gham, raazdari–in ways that center non-Western understandings of queerness, and to refuse the whitening and Westernness of queer studies.

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