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CVC Lecture | Kareem Khubchandani: Aunty Aesthetics, or More Ways to be an Aunty

November 17, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


“Aunty Aesthetics, or More Ways to be an Aunty”

South Asian aunties in public culture are figures bound to horror, hunger, and humor. They are known to be terrifying figures, domineering and difficult, overbearing to younger generations. They are especially known for managing and curtailing desire, whether shaming you for that extra piece of cake you are eyeing, or blabbing to your parents about your nighttime escapes. As such, they have become the butt of the joke, particularly in meme culture that critiques older generation’s outmoded style and politics. This talk revisits the hegemonic figure of the South Asian aunty in TV, literature, and visual culture to detail what paying attention to her aesthetics can teach us about the queer and trans futures she makes possible rather than forecloses.


Kareem Khubchandani is Associate Professor in theater, dance, and performance studies at Tufts University. He is the author of Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife (University of Michigan Press, 2020), which received the 2021 Association for Theatre in Higher Education Outstanding Book award, 2021 Dance Studies Association de la Torre Bueno book award, 2021 MLA/ASA Alan Bray Memorial Prize honorable mention, and the 2019 CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies Fellowship. Kareem is also co-editor of Queer Nightlife (University of Michigan Press, 2021) and curator of criticalauntystudies.com.


Both events are free and open to the public. They are possible thanks to the generous financial support of the Anonymous Fund. The Center for Visual Cultures would also like to thank the Departments of Gender and Women’s Studies; Afro-American Studies; English; the Institute for Research in the Humanities; and the Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies Program.


November 17, 2022
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Category:


Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, Room L150
800 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706 United States
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