“Our bodies are also occupied territories. Perhaps the ultimate goal of performance, especially if you are a woman, gay or a person ‘of color,’ is to decolonize our bodies and make these decolonizing mechanisms apparent to our audience in the hope that they will get inspired to do the same with their own.” -Guillermo Gómez-Peña

Stay in the know!

Facebook Twitter Twitter

April 13/14 :: THE BETWEEN: Couple Forms, Performing Together

the betweenThe Between: Couple Forms, Performing Together

an interdisciplinary two-day symposium with keynotes by Lauren Berlant & Kathleen StewartLisa Duggan & Anna McCarthy;Alexandra T. Vazquez & Germán Labrador MéndezImre Lodbrog et sa Petite Amie (Barbara Browning & Sébastien Regnier)

Presented by the NYU Department of Performance Studies in association with Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory 

April 13 & 14, Friday & Saturday
times TBA

Lauren Berlant, English Language & Literature, University of Chicago

Barbara Browning, Performance Studies, New York University

Lisa Duggan, Social & Cultural Analysis, New York University

Imre Lodbrog, musician

Anna McCarthy, Cinema Studies, New York University

Germán Labrador Méndez, Spanish & Portuguese, Princeton University

Kathleen Stewart, Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin

Alexandra T. Vazquez, Performance Studies, New York University

This symposium features co-authored and/or co-performed papers, presentations, and performances, which seek to explode that stalwart object of queer and feminist analysis: “the couple form.” Typically regarded in its normative instantiation as that sexual, romantic, and social unit of relation that sits as a colonial imposition at the core of the bourgeois nuclear family, the couple form is tied to well-worn fantasies of the good life as well as to the violent suppression of other forms of kinship. In calling for a proliferation of coupled collaborations, however, this symposium—by way of a movement from “the couple form” to couple forms in their infinite variation—asserts that the couple form is neither a known quantity nor an exhausted entity. What modes of intellectual practice, erotic exchange, political work, and aesthetic experimentation happen uniquely within couple forms, in their most capacious and non-self- same iterations? What queer and feminist work can they do? How might they function, to use poet Catriona Strang’s (2017) term, as “structures of possibility”? But also, what might they foreclose or disallow? What, in other words, is possible in the infinity between one and two?

Honoring the inextricability of form(s), content(s), and method(s), “The Between: Couple Forms, Performing Together” resists academic siloing, models of individual authorship and originality, and calcified conceptions of mastery, which lead to masculinist and colonialist fantasies of invulnerability (Singh 2018). This resistance takes its inspiration from recent interventions in critical theory––most notably Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman’s Sex, or the Unbearable (2014) and Fred Moten and Stefano Harney’s The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study (2013)—which are exemplary in their performative interweaving of form, content, and method. It is our hope that a sustained attention to what Moten (2015) describes as the “intense interaction that comes with playing with others”—to writing and other forms of aesthetic production “in which […] one composes in real time with other people[,] […] where one is discomposed in real time”—will open out onto other ways of writing, living, and working, animated by what Sara Ahmed (2004) calls “feminist wonder” (182): an openness to what might be, to our capacity to be affected, and to the dawning of new feminist futures.

Performance Studies Studio
721 Broadway, 6th Floor, Room 612

For more information about this event click here.

Co-sponsored by: the NYU Center for the Humanities; Department of Media, Culture, & Communication; Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality (CSGS); Department of Spanish & Portuguese Languages & Literatures; Department of Comparative Literature; Department of Art & Public Policy; Center for Multicultural Education and Programs; Department of Drama’s Experimental Theatre Wing.

April 19 :: I ❤️ (RACIST) NY: Envisioning Race in the Empire City

ways of not seeingI ❤️ (Racist) NY: Envisioning Race in the Empire City

a Decolonizing Vision Speaker Series lecture by Jacqueline Nassy Brown

April 19, Thursday
6 to 8 pm

Jacqueline Nassy Brown, Anthropology, Hunter College, City University of New York

In the fall of 2015, a professor of New York City history offered an introductory lecture on that topic to a class of some 200 mostly White students at an elite university. He did so by opining that what sets New York City apart from the rest of the nation is its 400-year long history of “diversity and toleration.” One piece of evidence he provided for this claim was visual. He conjured the image of multiply-colored bodies on the subway.

Based on ongoing research, this paper examines the ways that visual evidence is summoned to make claims and counter-claims about racism, while also comparing the reception of concrete evidence of racism that is received (or not) aurally. It also shows that claims about New York’s self-proclaimed status as a non-racist haven accord inordinate power to the visual in those realms constituted as quintessentially New York—like the subway—while simultaneously ignoring the visual evidence of racism in other kinds of spaces. The essay further suggests that one of the more insidious forms of sensorial power lies in Whites’ use of colored people’s visually available bodies—on the subway and elsewhere– in order to constitute themselves as non-racist, even as some of the more impoverished among that multiracial multitude, for reasons of racist urban policy and patterns of racial discrimination in employment, can barely afford to ride the subway.

Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality
285 Mercer Street, 4th Floor

This event is free & open to the public. Venue is accessible. For more information, please contact NYU CSGS at csgs(at) or 212-992-9540.

Facebook event page here.

Co-sponsored by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality and Department of Anthropology.

Jacqueline Nassy Brown is an associate professor of anthropology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center at CUNY.  She is a feminist ethnographer who studies the intersection of race, place and nation. She brings an anthropological lens to bear on place and space, local identities and global imaginaries, and diaspora and empire, showing how these variously illuminate the lived experience of Blackness. She is the author of Dropping Anchor, Setting Sail: Geographies of Race in Black Liverpool. Her essays have appeared in Social Text, Antipode, American Ethnologist, and Cultural Anthropology, as well as in edited volumes on Race and Globalization and Black Europe. Her current book project studies the fraught racial politics underlying New York identity.

March 22 :: THE RISE OF THE GLOBAL RIGHT: Feminist/Queer Critiques

rise of global rightThe Rise of the Global Right: Feminist/Queer Critiques

a panel discussion with Lisa Duggan, Masha Gessen, Svati Shah, & Neferti Tadiar

March 22, Thursday
6:30 to 8:30 pm

PLEASE register here. PLEASE bring photo ID for entry.

*please note time change.

Lisa Duggan, Social & Cultural Analysis, New York University

Masha Gessen, Staff Writer, The New Yorker

Svati Shah, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Research Associate, African Centre for Migration & Society, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Neferti Tadiar, Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Barnard College, and Center for the Study of Ethnicity & Race, Columbia University

From a forthcoming issue of the feminist journal Signs dedicated to “Gender and the Rise of the Global Right,” to a recent panel at the Pratt Institute on the same topic, feminist and queer scholars and activists are urgently calling our attention to how the rise of right-wing authoritarian regimes is predicated on an investment in toxic masculinity and its attendant homophobia, transphobia and misogyny. This panel brings together feminist/queer scholars and activists to discuss the convergences, and important distinctions, between the gender and sexual politics that undergird the consolidation of power of Trump in the U.S., Putin in Russia, Modi in India, and Duterte in the Philippines.

5 Washington Place, room 101

PLEASE register here. PLEASE bring photo ID for entry.

Facebook event page here. But registration is required.

Co-Sponsored by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality and Department of Social & Cultural Analysis Studies.

Join us after the panel for a RECEPTION across street at the Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality at 285 Mercer Street, 4th Floor.

Lisa Duggan is a journalist, activist, and Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University.  She is author most recently of Twilight of Equality? Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics and the Attack on Democracy.  Her new book Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and Neoliberal Greed is forthcoming in the new e-book series she is co-editing at University of California Press, American Studies Now. She was president of the American Studies Association during 2014-2015.

Masha Gessen began contributing to The New Yorker in 2014, and became a staff writer in 2017. Gessen is the author of nine books, including The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which won the National Book Award in 2017; and The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. Gessen has written about Russia, autocracy, L.G.B.T. rights, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump, among others, for The New York Review of Books and the New York Times. On a parallel track, Gessen has been a science journalist, writing about aids, medical genetics, and mathematics; famously, Gessen was dismissed as editor of the Russian popular-science magazine Vokrug Sveta for refusing to send a reporter to observe Putin hang-gliding with the Siberian cranes. Gessen is a visiting professor at Amherst College and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, a Nieman Fellowship, and the Overseas Press Club Award for Best Commentary. After more than twenty years as a journalist and editor in Moscow, Gessen has been living in New York since 2013.

Svati P. Shah is an Associate Professor Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where they also hold an adjunct appointment in Anthropology. Additionally, Dr. Shah is a research associate in the University of Witwatersrand’s African Centre for Migration and Society, and has taught at NYU, Wellesley College, and Duke University. Currently, Dr. Shah also maintains research and teaching collaborations with the University of Pune and Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, and with the University of Oslo. Dr. Shah’s Ph.D. is from Columbia University’s joint doctoral program in Anthropology and Public Health. Their first monograph, Street Corner Secrets: Sex, Work and Migration in the City of Mumbai, was published in 2014 by Duke University Press and Orient Blackswan in India. Within the auspices of a 2013-2014 Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship, as well as other ongoing research support, Dr. Shah has been conducting a long-term ethnographic study of LGBTQ politics and the ‘near history’ of social movements in India. Dr. Shah’s work has appeared in a range of journals and anthologies, including Gender and History, Cultural Dynamics, and New South Asian Feminisms (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

Neferti X. M. Tadiar is Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Barnard College and Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University and co-Editor of the New York-based Collective and international journal of interdisciplinary cultural studies, Social Text. She is the author of the books, Things Fall Away: Philippine Historical Experience and the Makings of Globalization (2009) and Fantasy-Production: Sexual Economies and Other Philippine Consequences for the New World Order (2004). Her current book project, Remaindered Life, is a meditation on the disposability and surplus of life-making under contemporary conditions of global empire.

Feb 24 :: CONTESTED MEMORIES: Gender, Violence, & Extremism in Sri Lanka

2018 SA Conference_final (1)Contested Memories: Gender, Violence, & Extremism in Sri Lanka

a panel with Fatima Cadre, Nimmi Gowrinathan, & Sujith Xavier, as part of the 10th annual Global South Asia Conference (Feb 23 & 24)

Click here for full conference program.

February 24, Saturday
9 to 11 am

Fathima Cader, Law, University of Windsor

Nimmi Gowrinathan, Founder and Director, Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative

Sujith Xavier, Law, University of Windsor

The tenth annual NYU Global South Asia conference theme is “Justice on the Move.”  The conference will be held at the Institute for Public Knowledge (20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor), on 23-24 February, 2018.  We will be focusing from a range of perspectives on interactions of justice and movement in South Asia, where the term “movement” evokes both mobility and mobilization, at many levels of scale, from the local to global. Justice struggles are ever present in South Asia, from social movements to legislative assemblies, court rooms to street protests, class rooms to NGO debates, newspapers to film, public and private, inside and outside the domains of official politics, audible in some registers and faint in others. In bringing together justice and movement, we want to foreground how justice travels within and across borders in and around South Asia, as ideas and ideals, as repertoires of practice, as solidarities and antagonisms, as expertise and professionalized networks. We want to approach this topic not only as a window into South Asia today, but also with historical and comparative perspectives.

20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor

Click here for full conference program. For more information about this event, please contact South Asia @ NYU.

Facebook event page here.

Co-sponsored by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality and South Asia @ NYU.

Feb 16/17 :: SUBVERTING SURVEILLANCE: Strategies to End State Violence

subverting surveillanceSubverting Surveillance: Strategies to End State Violence

a Scholar & Feminist Conference with Simone Browne, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Inderpal Grewal, Mariame Kaba, Cara Page, Nandita Sharma, & Dean Spade

February 16 & 17, Friday & Saturday
see program for times

This year’s Scholar and Feminist Conference will bring together a broad community of thinkers and organizers to grapple with the ever-deepening penetration of surveillance practices into everyday life, and ways to engage in self-defense against the militarized, racist police state’s demands for constant access in the name of “security” and public order. Sessions will focus on technologies of surveillance and self-defense; the normalization of the in/security state; and medical-legal surveillance. Our keynote speaker Simone Browne, author of Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness, will open the conference by grounding us in the prescient and deeply entrenched legacies of anti-black racism and white supremacy in state, social, and capitalist systems.

Please see here for full program schedule!

Diana Center, Barnard College
3009 Broadway

Facebook event page here.

Co-sponsored by the Barnard College Library, Barnard Student Life, Center for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies (BC), Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (NYU), Department of Africana Studies (BC), New Directions in American Studies (BC).

Spring 2018 CSGS Visiting Scholar: RAJIV MENON

RajivBioPicRajiv Menon is an academic and consultant based in NYC and Los Angeles. Rajiv earned his PhD from NYU, focusing on representations of masculinity in Indian and American popular culture. A leading media strategist, Rajiv currently works with television networks and platforms to develop content and communications material based on analysis of the cultural landscape.

April 23 :: INTRUSION: Domestic Violation & the Rise of the Carceral State

intrusionIntrusion: Domestic Violation & the Rise of the Carceral State

a lecture by Sarah Haley

April 23, Monday
6 to 8 pm

Sarah Haley, Gender Studies, UCLA

This talk will explore the role of mundane and ostentatious forms of carceral terror executed in black homes from the 1970s through the 1990s. It will examine the relationship between black domesticity and carceral state buildup as well as the affective and haptic work of life making that black women performed in the face of ubiquitous police violence.

Social & Cultural Analysis
20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor

This event is free & open to the public. Venue is accessible. For more information, please contact NYU CSGS at csgs(at) or 212-992-9540.

Facebook event page here.

Co-sponsored by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality, and Department of Social & Cultural Analysis.

Sarah Haley is Associate Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at UCLA and Associate Director of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women. She has research and teaching investments in women’s and gender history, carceral studies, labor studies, black feminism, and social movement history. Her first book, No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity (published by UNC Press in 2016), examines the lives of imprisoned women in the U.S. South from the 1870s to the 1930s and interrogates the role of the carceral state in shaping cultural logics of race and gender under Jim Crow. It has received recognition in the fields of gender and sexuality studies, gender history, Black studies, and American Studies. Her in-progress research uses black feminism as a framework through which to investigate how the policing of black domestic space shaped the rise of mass incarceration from the 1970s through the early 2000s.

April 11 :: South Asian American Masculinities & Popular Culture in the Age of Trump

south asian am mascSouth Asian American Masculinities & Popular Culture in the Age of Trump

a roundtable featuring D’Lo, Swati KhuranaRajiv Menon, Mallika Rao, & Imran Siddiquee

April 11, Wednesday
6 to 8 pm


D’Lo, actor, writer, comedian

Swati Khurana, artist, writer

Rajiv Menon, Visiting Scholar, Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality, New York University

Mallika Rao, essayist, critic, reporter

Imran Siddiquee, filmmaker, speaker, writer, activist

The last several years have seen a marked growth of visibility of South Asian American men in U.S. popular culture (comedians Aziz Ansari, Kumail Nanjiani, Hari Kondabolu, and Hasan Minhaj come to mind, as does the British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed’s character in HBO’s The Night Of).  In a moment when our public discourse is defined by explicit racism and misogyny, South Asian American men find themselves at the crossroads of marginality and visibility, vulnerability and privilege. How have artists, writers, activists, and academics responded to this moment of upheaval surrounding brown masculinity?

Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality
285 Mercer Street, 4th Floor

This event is free & open to the public. Venue is accessible. For more information, please contact NYU CSGS at csgs(at) or 212-992-9540.

Facebook event page here.


Co-sponsored by the NYU Asian/Pacific/American Institute;  Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality; and South Asia @ NYU; and by Sakhi for South Asian Women.

D’Lo is a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor, writer and comic. His solo shows Ramble-Ations, D’FunQT and To T, or not To T have toured the college circuit, and theaters & festivals internationally. His work has been published or written about in academic journals anthologies (including: Desi Rap: Hip Hop and South Asia America and Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic (co-edited by Sharon Bridgforth) and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics) with features in The Guardian, NBC, and The Advocate. He has appeared in Buzzfeed and Fusion videos and the award-winning documentary on his life/work Performing Girl. He facilitates writing for performance workshops and created the “Coming Out, Coming Home” writing workshop series which have taken place with South Asian and/or Immigrant LGBTQ Organizations nationally. As an actor, you might’ve seen him in Looking (HBO), Transparent (Amazon), Sense 8 (Netflix), Mr. Robot (USA) and the Issa Rae-produced show Minimum Wage. He is also a co-producer with a nationally touring group of Asian American comics, DisOriented Comedy.

Swati Khurana is an artist and writer who contemplates memory, pasts, artifice, artifacts, public spaces, popular culture, and the seductive promises made by rituals.She has received fellowships and residencies from Jerome Foundation, Bronx Arts Council, Center for Books Arts, Center for Fiction, Cooper Union, Bronx Museum, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Vermont Studio Center. Her essays and fiction have been published in The New York Times, Guernica, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Offing, The Rumpus, Art-India and in the Good Girls Marry Doctors anthology. She has presented her artwork in over a hundred group exhibitions and festivals, including at  A/P/A Gallery (NYU), where she debuted her collaborative video installation “Dothead” (1999) featuring clips of Apu from the Simpsons, D.W. Griffith’s Gunga Din, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In 1997, she was a founding member of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC), an organization dedicated to the advancement, visibility, and development of emerging and established South Asian women artists across disciplines. Recent projects include organizing a “Writing Politics Across Genres” panel at the 2016 SAWCC Litfest featuring writers whose work engages with Islamophobia, casteism, and racism; and making wood-block letterpress protest posters for SAWCC’s “Freedom Safety Now” action at the Indian Consulate following the Delhi bus gang-rape-murder (2012) and Jaishri Abichandani’s “Me Too” silent performance at the Met Breuer’s retrospective of Raghubir Singh (2017).

Rajiv Menon is an academic and consultant based in NYC and Los Angeles. Rajiv earned his PhD from NYU, focusing on representations of masculinity in Indian and American popular culture. A leading media strategist, Rajiv currently works with television networks and platforms to develop content and communications material based on analysis of the cultural landscape.

Mallika Rao is a writer covering race and culture, with a focus on the South Asian diaspora. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming on the Atlantic,, the New York Times, Vulture and the Village Voice. Her award-winning 2013 story on the legacy of the Simpsons character Apu was recently featured in the documentary The Problem With Apu.

Imran Siddiquee is a writer, filmmaker, and activist challenging limiting representations of gender and race in popular media. His essays on this topic have been published by The AtlanticBuzzfeedLongreads, and more. Imran is also the Communications Director at the Center for Media Justice and a collaborator with the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA). He was previously on the founding staff of The Representation Project, where he led nationwide campaigns to call-out sexist media and advised on The Mask You Live In, a documentary about American masculinity which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

March 29 :: VIBRATOR NATION: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure

Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure

a book talk with Lynn Comella, in conversation with Julie Scelfo

March 29, Thursday 7 to 8 pm

Lynn Comella, Gender & Sexuality Studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

In the 1970s a group of pioneering feminist entrepreneurs launched a movement that ultimately […]

April 12 :: QUEER TRANSMISSIONS: A Haiku Hauntology from Shiki to Soseki

Queer Transmissions in Japan: A Haiku Hauntology from Shiki to Soseki

a lecture by J. Keith Vincent

April 12, Thursday 6:30 to 8 pm

J. Keith Vincent, World Languages & Literatures, Boston University

The close friendship between Natsume Sōseki(1867-1916), Japan’s preeminent modern novelist, and Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), who coined the word “haiku,” is […]

*** SPRING 2018 EVENTS ***

*** SPRING 2018 EVENTS ***