reading group

Remember how it feels to stumble upon a great article or a book, share it with your friends, discuss and dissect it for hours on end? The group is open to students, faculty members or absolutely anyone who wishes to discuss issues concerning gender, sexuality, identity and activism. These sessions are generally centred on one specific reading, with conversations and poetry readings, weaving in relevant films, books and other media.

session 1: Friendship as a Way of Life

Our first session began by thinking about musings on friendship in “Friendship as a Way of Life” in Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth. In this interview, Michel Foucault works toward discovering new fields of relationships between people, specifically through exploring the idea of friendship as a paradigm within homosexual relationships.

session 2: The Story of Love-Jihad

This session focussed on the historical development of “love jihad” and its associated controversies by looking at an academic piece by Charu Gupta, “Hindu Women, Muslim Men: Love Jihad and Conversions”, as well as a New Yorker piece, “The Year of Love Jihad in India”, by Rahul Bhatia in relation to the recent Hadiya judgement. The group talked about questions of women’s agency, the fraught nature of the marital contract and our overbearing perceptions of the “other”.

session 3: The Essence of the Hard On

The session was centred around “The Essence of the Hard On: Hegemonic Masculinity and the Cultural Construction of ‘Erectile Dysfunction” by Annie Potts. This article employs feminist poststructuralist discursive analysis to investigate the effect of the metonymic relationship between the penis and the phallus on the cultural construction of male “sexual dysfunctions.”

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