2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Queering Ila: Looking at the possibilities with a Trans-National-Sexuality within the novel Shadow Lines
Benjamin C. Garrett
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

The character Ila, within the novel Shadow Lines, exemplifies the use of sexuality to transgress the boundaries of national identity. She creates a trans-national-sexual identity that allows her to utilize the flexibility of queerness, and be more than just an example of colonial mimicry. This paper accomplishes that task by looking first at mimicry, as defined by Homi K. Bhabha, and how that definition fails to allow for the transmutation of sexual identity that Ila performs. Then it will look at queerness as defined by Judith Butler and show how Ila's queer sexual identity is a means of transgressing her national identity. While there are barriers set within both Ila's personal and social landscape that prevent her from completely overcoming the barriers of national Identity that she is rebelling against, the ambiguity of her trans-national-sexual identity allows her to exist as more than a simple colonial mimicry.

Keywords: Indian Literature, Queer Theory, Post-Colonialism

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 41-4
Location: OP 2111
Time: 2:00 pm

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