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Centre for Studies in Gender and Sexuality

Gender and sexuality are policed, enforced, and celebrated in every society in the world. They are issues of universal import that also take on different flavours depending on their local setting. In India, the policing of gender and sexuality forms the cornerstone of many inequalities. At the same time, our lived experiences of gender and sexuality include various kinds of pleasures and attachments, especially in relation to desire, fantasy and notions of identity and self-hood. The Centre for Studies in Gender and Sexuality (CSGS) at Ashoka University is the first Centre in the country to study the nuances of these issues concerning both gender and sexuality. The scholarly, advocacy and media approaches required for this must be pioneered by educational institutions that focus on these interrelated issues with rigour. The Centre sees itself as fulfilling this global requirement while being fully responsive to local needs.

 

The Centre for Studies in Gender and Sexuality at Ashoka University was set up in August 2015 and focuses on three areas of activity: scholarly research, social outreach, and resource-building. 

Scholarly Research

The Centre houses multilocational and transnational research projects that are both in-house – Ashoka students and faculty – and external – post-docs and researchers from other universities and centres. The Centre offers academic courses to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and is working towards offering a minor in Gender and Sexuality studies as well. We also supervise student internships, research projects and facilitate reading groups. Our focus on research is also reflected in our on-campus and public events such as our regular speakers’ series, open forums, and national and international conferences.   

Workshops by CSGS

In its efforts to act as a bridge between academic research and activism, the Centre has designed four workshop modules on gender, sexuality, law, and diversity. Our workshops facilitate open conversations on ideas and lived experiences which are so often wrapped in stigma and taboo but that are emancipatory when discussed in a non-judgmental and enabling space. The Centre conducts these workshops for schools, universities and workplaces across the country.

 

We also offer training programs on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act (2013), and we collaborate with universities and organisations to build gender-sensitive and safe workplaces. Read more about our workshops here.

Resource-building

Recognising the centrality of information in bringing about any critical social change, the CSGS is persistently working to curate, organize and present existing resources for research and advocacy on questions of gender and sexuality in India. Along with this, we also aim to create new resources which can be publicly disseminated, such as our anti-sexual harassment training videos, annonated bibliographies and reading lists. Our latest project in this regard hopes to provide a nation-wide platform for resource and information sharing between people working on issues of gender and sexuality in different disciplinary and professional contexts. 

Facilities

Library

The Centre has its own dedicated Library Resource Centre consisting of books, journals, magazines, DVDs, and other materials that are useful to the study of gender and sexuality.

 

In addition to on-campus resource centre, the CSGS also aims to build a cutting-edge online archive consisting of reading and research materials, articles and news items, activist material and a directory of organisations working on issues of gender and sexuality, specifically in South Asian context. 

 

On Campus Events

  • CSGS hosts a cross-disciplinary Speakers’ Series, titled ISHQ: Issues in Society, History, and Queerness, featuring eminent scholars and activists, once every month, engaging ideas about gender and sexuality across disciplines.

  • The Centre organises workshops for students and staff aimed at sensitisation, critical conversation and prevention of sexual harassment.

  • The Centre also hosts film screenings, reading circles, and open forum debates.

The Centre for Studies in Gender and Sexuality aims to initiate a wave of change in the world around us across the wider spectrum of gender and sexuality. With its emphasis on research combined with activism, CSGS hopes to revolutionise the narrative of gender and sexuality in India.