Tracing the Geographies of Queer South Asian Diaspora

Event Details

This panel brings together three individuals who have been essential to the making and conceptualization of queer South Asian Diaspora in the United States. As writers, thinkers, academics, and activists, each has challenged and expanded the idea of the queer South Asian diaspora. This evening is an invitation to reflect on history making, story-telling, and the role of the archive. Please RSVP here for this event.


D’Lo is a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor/writer/stand-up comic. He created the "Coming Out, Coming Home" writing workshop for Satrang. Outside of touring the university/college circuit, his work has been published and/or written about in academic journals, literary anthologies, and print/online journalism sources, such as The Guardian, NBC, CNN and The Advocate. Most recently, D’Lo was awarded the Artist Disruptor Fellowship for TV Writing through the Center for Cultural Performance and 5050x2020 an initiative started by Joey Soloway; as well as the Civic Media Fellowship through USC's Annenberg Innovation Lab funded by the MacArthur Foundation. Last year, D’Lo received the Sherwood Award for theater/performance through CTG. Acting credits include: Looking, Transparent, Sense 8, and Mr. Robot, a lead role in Issa Rae-produced Minimum Wage, and finally his own short series Private Dick.  In 2020, D’Lo guest starred on NBC’s Connecting and also created Nimzo with the BTR team & Pop Culture Collab. He recently acted in Billy Eichner’s latest movie, Bros. His latest solo play, "To T, or not To T?," will come to the Kirk Douglas in LA this summer.

Sheena Malhotra is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at California State University, Northridge. She was the founding Director of the Queer Studies Program at CSUN, which launched in 2008, and is currently serving in that position again since 2019. Dr. Malhotra has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her work experience in the film and television industry includes two years as an Executive Producer and Commissioning Editor of Programs for a television network in India, and one year as an Assistant Director to Shekhar Kapur. Her academic research focuses on the intersections of gender, media, technology and global culture, with a postcolonial analysis of media in India and the diaspora. She co-authored, Answer the Call: Virtual Migration in Indian Call Centers (University of Minnesota Press), a study of call centers in India. Her co-edited volume, Silence, Feminism, Power: Reflections at the Edges of Sound (Palgrave MacMillan) is a feminist examination of the power of silence. She served on the Board of Satrang for five years and loves Bollywood, boogie-boarding, and dancing.    

Dr. Debanuj DasGupta is an Assistant Professor of Feminist Studies at UCSB. Debanuj’s research and teaching focuses on racialized regulation of space, immigration detention, queer migrations and the global governance of migration, sexuality, and HIV. Debanuj serves on the political geography editorial board of the Geography Compass and is Board-Co Chair of the Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies: CLAGS at the City University of New York.  He is the recipient of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC)-funded Junior Scholar Award in Transregional Studies: Inter Asian Contexts & Connections; Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Award, The British Department for International Development, Ford Foundation-funded New Voices Fellowship, American Association of Geographers and National Science Foundation-funded T. J. Reynolds National Award in Disability Studies, and the International AIDS Society’s Emerging Activist Award. Her scholarly work has been published in journals such as Human Geography, Women’s Studies in Communication, Disability Studies Quarterly, Contemporary South Asia, SEXUALITIES, Gender, Place & Culture, Emotions, Space, and Society, and the Scholar and the Feminist (S&F online). She is the co-editor of Friendship As Social Justice Activism: Critical Solidarities in Global Perspective (University of Chicago Press), and Queering Digital India: Activisms, Identities and Subjectivities (University of Edinburgh Press). Debanuj identifies as Koti/Gender Queer. S/he loves traveling, spending quiet time by herself, and is an avid foodie.

Aziz Sohail (moderator) is an art curator, writer, and researcher. Since 2020, with The Many Headed Hydra collective, he has been co-leading kal, a language where yesterday and tomorrow are the same word and a trans*oceanic platform supporting practices enacting queer pasts/futures and decolonial ecologies. His current research is a meditation on the longue-durée intersections of sexuality and colonialism with migration, law, and identity.



ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries
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