This essay focuses on the anthology Same-Sex Love in India: Readings from Literature and History (2000), edited by Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai. Unlike many other recently published, celebratory 'gay anthologies', this book contributes to ongoing scholarly work on specific same-sex erotic practices and relations in historical and cultural context. We examine issues relevant to this anthology and other such projects: the use of 'love' and 'same-sex' as (stable) signifiers over centuries; the validity of interpreting social reality through literary texts from the period; the difficulties of locating 'love' in severely hierarchical, even slave-owning, societies; and the implications of using such anthologies in the classroom.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)