Oct 8: Thinking Unruly Aesthetics

"He gazed into the liquid darkness in which desires drowned, from where the body's delicious pains emerged,” by Allan deSouza, abstract image, dessert/skin with sunrise horizona roundtable with Kandice Chuh, Allan deSouza, & Gayatri Gopinath, moderated by Alpesh Kantilal Patel

October 8, Tuesday, 6 to 7:30 pm

CSGS, 285 Mercer St, 4th Floor

Kandice Chuh, English, Graduate Center, City University of New York

Allan deSouza, Art Practice, University of California, Berkeley

Gayatri Gopinath, Social & Cultural Analysis, New York University

Alpesh Kantilal Patel, Contemporary Art & Theory, Florida International University

This roundtable places in conversation three recently published monographs: Kandice Chuh’s The Difference Aesthetics Makes: On the Humanities “After Man” (Duke 2019), Allan deSouza’s How Art Can Be Thought: A Handbook for Change (Duke 2018), and Gayatri Gopinath’s Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practices of Queer Diaspora (Duke 2018). Chuh, deSouza, and Gopinath will discuss how their work approaches questions of  aesthetics, visuality, and difference, and what it means to decolonize the practice of making, displaying, thinking, and writing about art. 


This event is free & open to the public. Venue is wheelchair-accessible.

For more information about this event, please contact the NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality at csgsnyu@nyu.edu or 212-992-9540.

Facebook event page here.

Co-sponsored by the NYU Asian/Pacific/American Institute and the Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality.


Kandice Chuh is a professor of English and American studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.  The author of Imagine Otherwise: on Asian Americanist Critique (2003) and The Difference Aesthetics Makes: on the Humanities ‘After Man,’ (2019), Chuh is working on a collection of essays on teaching, as well as continuing research on Asian racialization in “the Asian Century.”  Chuh teaches courses focused on such topics as aesthetics, embodiment, decoloniality, queerness, and color. 

Allan deSouza is a trans-media artist whose works restage colonial-era material legacies through counter-strategies of humor, fabulation, and (mis)translation. deSouza’s work has been shown extensively in the US and internationally, including at the Krannert Museum, IL; the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; and the Pompidou Centre, Paris. deSouza’s book, How Art Can Be Thought (Duke, 2018), examines art pedagogy, and proposes decolonizing artistic, viewing, and pedagogical practices that can form new attachments within the contemporary world. The book provides an extensive analytical glossary of some of the most common terms used to discuss art, while considering how those terms may be adapted to new artistic and social challenges. deSouza is represented by Talwar Gallery, NY and New Delhi, and is Chair of the department of Art Practice at University of California, Berkeley.

Gayatri Gopinath is Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, and the Director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University. She works at the intersection of transnational feminist and queer studies, postcolonial studies, and diaspora studies, and is the author of Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures (2005), and Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practices of Queer Diaspora (2018). She has published numerous essays on gender, sexuality, and queer diasporic cultural production in journals such as Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, GLQ, Social Text, and positions.

Alpesh Kantilal Patel is an associate professor of contemporary art at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami. His monograph Productive failure: writing queer transnational South Asian art histories was published by Manchester University Press in 2017. A frequent contributor of exhibition reviews to international art publications such as Artforum, frieze, Art in America, and hyperallergic.com, he has organized exhibitions both in the US and Europe. Overall, his art historical scholarship, criticism, and curating reflect his queer, anti-racist, and transnational approach to contemporary art.


Image credit:  “He gazed into the liquid darkness in which desires drowned, from where the body’s delicious pains emerged,” by Allan deSouza, courtesy of the artist and Talwar Gallery, NYC