17 September 2007

SEMINAR/PERFORMANCE - Soma-Rasa (Shalmalee Palekar, UNSW)

Date/Time: Friday 12 October, 6 pm
Venue: UTS Bldg3, rm210, enter via 755 Harris St

Soma-Rasa: In this theory / fiction / performance, Soma-Rasa, I will examine my "raced," lesbian, academic, creative body as a site of both "otherness" and empowerment. By inhabiting the subject position(s) of a diasporic, Indian, lesbian academic in Australia, do I necessarily operate from multiple liminalities? In what ways do I negotiate with whiteness? Attempting a fluid movement between "authenticity" and dreams, between split selves and fragmented subjectivities, between playfulness and polemic, my writing / performance will interrogate boundaries of the gendered body, sexuality, "race," and professionalism. I will explore what representations make it possible for the voices of "Indian women" to not be completely anchored to a space that is dictated only by white Western and Indian dominant discourses. Ultimately, I aim to develop a longer multimedia performance piece that examines the embodied production of knowledge and writes sexuality as a participation in multicultural community networks.

Bio: Shalmalee Palekar is currently a lecturer in the School of English, Media and Performing Arts at UNSW. She has previously taught at Sophia College, University of Mumbai, India, SNDT Women's University, Mumbai, and Macquarie University. Shalmalee has published journal articles and book chapters in the areas of postcolonial, queer and gender studies. In 2005, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Asia-Pacific Social Transformation Studies (CAPSTRANS), University of Wollongong, where her research focused on representations of women's sexualities in Indian fiction and cinema. Shalmalee is also an active translator of Marathi poetry into English, and writes, acts, and performs professionally with three women and a cello, collectively called "Funkier Than Alice".