Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow Chaitanya Lakkimsetti will discuss a controversial debate around bar dancing in Mumbai to understand the connection between class, space and sexuality in a global city. Lunch provided; RSVP required.
Chaitanya Lakkimsetti will examine a controversial debate around bar dancing in Mumbai to understand the connection between class, space and sexuality in a global city. Dance bars emerged as morally suspect spaces alongside the decline of Mumbai as an industrial city and its development as a global financial and entertainment capital. The disciplining and control of space to make Mumbai into a global city created both material and moral dispossession for poor and working class women. Although for a brief period, bar owners and dancers were able to make their livelihood within the peripheral spaces that opened up with Mumbai’s transformation from an industrial to a postindustrial economy, their livelihoods were undercut when they were viewed as a “moral threat” to the city. Discursive arguments over the ban in court pertain not only to dancing per se but also to the fate of people living within the “shadowy spaces” of the city’s margins. Dr. Lakkimsetti uses the ban to understand how women’s intimate labor becomes the focus of arguments not only about morality but also about the changes and challenges of a globalized economy in a global city.
Dr. Lakkimsetti is an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow with the Gender Studies Program and the Center for Feminist Research at USC. She is also a New Directions in Feminist Research Fellow (2013-14). Previously, she was a College Fellow at Harvard University in the Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010.