This book explores queer potentialities in the tribal folktales of India. It elucidates the queer elements in the oral narratives of four indigenous communities from East and Northeast India, which are found to be significant repositories of gender fluidity and non-normative desires. Departing from the popular understanding that ‘Otherness’ results largely from undue exposure to Western permissiveness, the author reveals how minority sexualities actually have their roots in aboriginal indigenous cultures and do not necessarily constitute a mimicry of the West. The volume endeavours to demystify the politics behind such vindictive propagation to sensitize the queerphobic mainstream about the essential endogenous presence of the queer in the spaces that are aboriginal.
Based on extensive interdisciplinary research, this book is a first of its kind in the study of indigenous queer narratives. It will be useful to scholars and researchers of queer studies, gender studies, tribal and indigenous studies, literature, cultural studies, postcolonialism, sociology, political studies and South Asian studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Folktales, Non-normativity and the Queer Indigeneity 2. In the company of An-other: Methodology, Debates and Concerns 3. ‘Wandering Between Two Worlds’: ‘Mainstream’ Ethos, Transgression and Narratives of the Anarcho-dissidence in Toto 4. Discord as Defilement: Consensual Incest in Limbu Folktales and 'Mainstreaming' of the Feminine 5. Stages in the Proscription of Homoeroticity: Lepcha Folktales and Mythistory 6. Manly Women, Womanish Men: Genderqueer in Select Rabha Tales 7. Queer India as Neo-Bahujan: Towards a Possible Assembling
Kaustav Chakraborty is Assistant Professor at the Department of English, Southfield (formerly Loreto) College, Darjeeling, India. He was a fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, India. His recent publications include Tales and Alternatives: Revisiting Select Tribal Folktales (2017), The Politics of Belonging in Contemporary India: Anxiety and Intimacy (2019), Indian Drama in English (2014) and Tagore and Nationalism (co-edited, 2017). His research interests include indigenous literature and culture, queer theory, and cultural studies.