It is a breath of fresh air in a nation where the law hands over life imprisonment to those engaging in ‘unnatural sex.’ Alternative sexuality is gaining acceptance with academics and students at Delhi University (DU).
Courses on gender—sensitising students on homosexuals, bisexuals, transgenders or anyone who doesn’t conform to heterosexual norms — are finding many takers.
One of the most popular courses this year was the MA English (Optional) on Literature and Gender. The M.Phil on Sexual Dissidence and Modernism: Oscar Wilde and After, was oversubscribed with 23 applicants for 15 seats.
The Masters course includes Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, Audre Laud's Zani, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, DH lawrence’s The Fox and WH Auden’s poem Lay your sleeping head, my love.
“From classic to lesbian American, my course gave me insight into queer writers of diverse backgrounds,” said Akhil Katyal, about his MA English in Literature and Gender. He will now pursue a PhD in Queer Modernities in India at London University.
“This year we got an overwhelming response to the M.Phil course,” said Professor Sumanyu Satpathy, who who conceptualised the course.
In MA Geography, lecturer Kiran Bhairannavar teaches ‘mainstream cultural stereotypes’ and ‘resistance to hegemony cultures.” “We talk of how heterosexual culture has been resisted,” he said.