This online course examines how genders and sexualities are imagined, performed, reproduced, and contested across and beyond Asia. It investigates how colonialism and nation-state formation, sociocultural change, and transnational flows impact on everyday notions of gender and sexuality within, and in discourses about, Asia. Drawing upon historical and anthropological perspectives – with insights from postcolonial, feminist, and queer theories – the course considers the influence of histories, languages, religions, and popular culture on gender and sexual subjectivities in the Asian region and Asian diasporas. While the course is attentive to regional and transnational dynamics that inform the production and transformation of gender and sexual subjectivities, it seeks to locate these subjectivities within particular local contexts and social formations. 

Each week, the course engages with a key topic related to genders and sexualities in Asia, such as colonialism, nationalism, kinship, the family, religion, race, class, intimacy, labour, the body, mobility, and activism. Case studies discussed within the readings span across the Asian region and Asian diasporas, with a specific focus on Southeast Asia (the instructor’s area of expertise). Students are invited to draw comparisons across the region, as well as to reflect upon how these topics relate to their own knowledge and experiences.