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Journal of International Women’s Studies

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Women -- India -- Social conditions, Gender identity -- India -- Political aspects, Neoliberalism, Transnationalism


This essay contributes to transnational feminist and queer interests in neoliberalism, sexual politics and representational cultures that all circulate globally today. It reads Deepa Mehta’s film, Fire (1996), and Suniti Namjoshi’s literary venture, Goja: An Autobiographical Myth (2000). Each processes the question of lesbian visibility as a question of female labor and class relations among women. By analyzing representations of lesbian life in the context of laboring female bodies, the article challenges the dismissal of queer politics as neoliberal in India. Sexual identity politics, as critics argue, often dovetails with neoliberalism’s project of protecting elite and bourgeois subjects’ interests at the expense the working and the poor. Deploying western and transnational feminist/queer theories, cultural studies and literary critical methods, this essay spotlights two representational forms that enact and provide useful frameworks for radical queer political engagements.


©2017 Journal of International Women’s Studies.

Originally appeared in the Journal of International Women's Studies, vol. 18, no. 2, January 2017. May be found at

Article archived here with publisher's permission.

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