ESS past sessions

ESS session 2:

The second session of the ‘Empires, South, Sexualities’ seminar took place on Wednesday 13th November 2019 at the Université de Paris. 047dd569-b87d-4765-9135-d8c6887ffd57

Dr Carmel Christy K J gave a paper entitled ‘De-casteing’ Gender: Challenges to Knowing the Intimate Self’. Her respondent was Dr Sandeep Bakshi (University of Paris, LARCA).

Carmel Christy K J, an anti-caste feminist scholar, is Assistant Professor of Journalism at Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi. She has been working on the interrelationship between caste and gender in the public space, caste and higher education and more recently, on urban space-making and religion in Cochin. She has held positions as a Fulbright Postdoctoral fellow at UCSC (2015-2016), International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden (2018-2019) and is currently a visiting scholar at FMSH, Paris.

ESS session 1:

The first session of the research seminar “Empires, Souths, Sexualities” took place on Wednesday 29th May 2019. 

Paola Bacchetta (Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at University of California, Berkeley) gave a paper entitled “Beyond Deadly Encounters: Reflections on Transnational Decolonial Feminist and Queer of Color Alliances.”


Her respondents were Ludmila Toualbia (Université de Paris) & Marielle Lippmann (Université de Paris).



“Beyond Deadly Encounters: Reflections on Transnational Decolonial Feminist and Queer of Color Alliances”

This presentation’s focus is on how feminists and queers of color, and ultimately feminists and queers of all colors, come together or not in alliances for radical political transformation. It concerns a range of practices that Bacchetta calls co-motion, defined as a large rubric for diverse phenomena such as coalitions, solidarities, alliances, networks, linkages, convergences, unities and other political encounters. In this talk, Bacchetta specifically focusses upon what she calls deadly encounters, or alliances that fail miserably by (inadvertently) constructing, enhancing, reinforcing or enacting the genocidal logics, and symbolic, psychic, materialized obliteration, of the subaltern subjects they implicate or not in the alliance. Bacchetta asks: why does co-motion fail? How might we rethink and re-enact alliances to get free together, to create and live a different present and futurity in our times?


Paola Bacchetta is Professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at University of California, Berkeley. She is also Co-Chair of the Initiative on Political Conflict, Gender and Peoples’ Rights, and an Advisory Board member of Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender, and the Center for Right-Wing Studies. She is the former Coordinator of the Gender Consortium at Berkeley that represents all of Berkeley’s research and teaching units on gender, and Executive Committee member of the California-wide Center for New Racial Studies. Some of Professor Bacchetta’s books include: Co-Motion: On Feminist and Queer of Color Alliances (Durham: Duke University Press, forthcoming); Global Raciality: Empire, Postcoloniality, and Decoloniality (co-edited with Sunaina Maira and Howard Winant, New York: Routledge, 2019); Femminismi Queer Postcoloniali: critiche transnazionali all’omofobia, all’islamofobia e all’omonazionalismo (co-edited with Laura Fantone. Verona, Italy: Ombre Corte, 2015); Gender in the Hindu Nation: RSS Women as Ideologues (Delhi, India: Women Ink, 2004); Right-Wing Women: From Conservatives to Extremists around the World (co-edited with Margaret Power, New York: Routledge, 2002). Professor Bacchetta has published over sixty journal articles and book chapters on her research o feminist and queer of color theories and practices, political conflict, space, in multiple languages. Her most recent publications, interviews and talks are available at:

Outline of the talk:




deadly encounters


multiplicities and their operaability


deadly encounters  

  1. Resisting Colonial Obliteration

dominant strategic self-victimization


white-outand voice-overjob

plural singularization

feminist substitutionalism

  1. Resisting Queer of Color Diasporic Colonial Erasure

logic of genocide

  1. Resisting Spectacular Eradication

xenophobic xenophilia

redface (blackface)


  1. Resisting with Spectacular Unintelligibility

the production of misrecognition

the production of unseen resistance

  1. Resisting Obliteration-By-Rescue 


multiplicites of relations of power

inadvertent reiteration/repetition as reinforcement

homonationalist assimilationism and/as murderous inclusion


the production of reliable subjects

Photos from the session: