Invited Performance

Vivek ShrayaVivek Shraya is a Toronto-based trans artist whose body of work includes several albums, films, and books. Her first book of poetry, even this page is white, is longlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads and was listed as one of the Best Books of 2016 by The Walrus. Her debut novel, She of the Mountains, was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books, and her first children’s picture book, The Boy & the Bindi, was featured on the National Post Bestseller List.

Keynote Speaker

Gayatri ReddyGayatri Reddy , Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research and teaching interests lie at the intersections of sexuality, gender, health, and the politics of subject and community-formation in India, as well as within the immigrant South Asian queer community in the U.S.


Natasha BissonauthNatasha Bissonauth received a Ph.D. in Art History from Cornell University, and beginning fall 2017 she will be a post-doctoral fellow and visiting professor at Haverford College, PA. She has just completed a pre-doctoral fellowship in Art History (affiliated with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) at Ithaca College, where she designed and taught her courses, Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art and Queer Contemporary Art. Bissonauth has a BA from McGill University (2005) and an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art – University of London (2006). Prior to doctoral studies, she worked in the commercial art gallery scene and arts non-profit sector in New York City, focusing on modern and contemporary South Asian art. 

Shreyoshi DeySreyoshi Dey, is a PhD candidate in Newhouse working on South Asian queer groups on Facebook

Faris KhanFaris Khan is a recent PhD in anthropology from SU, whose research focuses on khwaja siras in Pakistan.  His areas of specialization include sexuality and gender, queer and transgender studies, identity and performance, activism and social movements, globalization and transnationalism, digital and biotechnologies, and Islam with a geographical focus on South Asia and its diaspora.

Nisha Kommattam is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary South Asian literatures and gender studies, with a special focus on Southern Indian languages, such as Malayalam. Current research interests include Gender and Sexuality Studies, Queer Theory and Animal Studies. In 2017, Nisha Kommattam was awarded a multi-year research grant from the German Ministry of Education and Research. She concurrently holds a research position at the University of Cologne, Germany.

Kareem KhubchandaniKareem Khubchandani’s research and teaching interests include dance studies, queer nightlife, South Asian diaspora, global queer politics, performance ethnography, critical race studies, masculinity and femininity, and drag. He is Mellon Assistant Professor in the Department of Drama and Dance at Tufts University.

Jayaprakash Mishra is a doctoral student at Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad. His doctoral work focuses on married men from the rural areas of the eastern state of Odisha who self-identify as homosexual.

Shakthi NatarajShakthi Nataraj is completing her PhD in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research tracks the way texts of “transgender” identity, ranging from novels and poems, speeches, and jokes circulate amongst transgender rights activists in Tamil Nadu, weaving in and out of social life. Conducting fieldwork with readers, authors, and activists, she examines how historical fragments coalesce and dissipate in unexpected ways around various iterations of “transgender”.

Jyoti PuriJyoti Puri is Professor of Sociology at Simmons College and works at the crossroads of sociology, sexuality and queer studies, and postcolonial feminist theory. Her book, Sexual States: Governance and the Struggle against the Antisodomy Law in India, was recently published by Duke University Press (February 2016). She has also published Woman, Body, Desire in Post-colonial India (Routledge 1999) and Encountering Nationalism (Blackwell Publishers 2004), as well as articles, book chapters, and journal special issues on sexuality, state, gender, and nationalism. She is currently working on a project on death and migration.

Shyam SelvaduraiShyam Selvadurai , a widely published, award-winning author, was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1965. He came to Canada with his family at the age of nineteen and subsequently received a BFA from York University, where he studies creative writing and theatre; he has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. His novel Funny Boy draws on his experience of being gay in the violent 1980s of Sri Lanka. 

Svati ShahSvati P. Shah is  an Associate Professor in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at UMass Amherst, where she also teaches in the Department of Anthropology and in the Social Thought and Political Economy Program. Her research interests include questions of sexuality and political economy in India, informal economies, migration, urbanization, land rights, feminist and LGBTQ politics, and sex work. Her book Street Corner Secrets: Sex, Work and Migration in the City of Mumbai was published in 2014 by Duke University Press.

Scott Sorrell, is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology with interests in queer theory, embodiment, urban space, and the relationship between the global and the local.  His dissertation research focuses on the ongoing urban transformation of Bangalore, India from the perspective of its queer communities.

Uzma Zafar, a PhD student at the University of Virginia, is researching queerness and autoethnography in Pakistan.


Lucinda RambergLucinda Ramberg is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Cornell University. Ramberg's book, Given to the Goddess, was honored with the 2015 Clifford Geertz Prize in the anthropology of religion, by the Society for the Anthropology of Religion.  Ramberg was the recipient of the first Michelle Rosaldo Prize for a first book in feminist anthropology, given by the Association for Feminist Anthropology, and the 2015 Ruth Benedict Book Prize, given by the Association for Queer Anthropology.

Kwame OtuEdwin Kwame Otu received his PhD in Anthropology from Syracuse University in 2016. Currently Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia, he has a contract with Indiana University Press for his book on effeminate males in Ghana. He has numerous articles accepted for publication.