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Madhavi Menon

Professor
Department of Literature

  • Madhavi Menon is interested in desire. She is the author of Wanton Words: Rhetoric and Sexuality in English Renaissance Drama (University of Toronto Press, 2004), which explores how Renaissance rhetoric manuals encounter and present desire; and of Unhistorical Shakespeare: Queer Theory in Shakespearean Literature and Film (Palgrave, 2008), a polemical inquiry into the methodologies within which we study desire. She is also the editor of Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Duke UP, 2010), which is the first book to put queer theory in conversation with every one of Shakespeare's poems and plays. In addition to irregularly teaching a class called Shakesqueer, Professor Menon also teaches classes on queer theory, literary theory, Renaissance literature, and drama.
  • Degrees

    BA (Hons.), St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi MA, University of Delhi Ph.D, Tufts University
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Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

Books:

Shakesqueer: The Queer Companion to The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Duke University Press, 2011)

Unhistorical Shakespeare: Queer Theory in Shakespearean Literature and Film (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)

Wanton Words: Rhetoric and Sexuality in English Renaissance Drama (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004)

 

Selected Scholarly Articles:

"Too Much" in English Studies, A Special Issue on "Shakespeare and Theory," Francois-Xavier Gleyzon, ed. (forthcoming 2013)

"What Does Desire Look Like: The Case of A Midsummer Night's Dream," in Henry S. Turner, ed., 21st Century Approaches to Early Modern Theatricality (forthcoming from Oxford UP, 2013)

"Queer Tragedy," co-authored with Lee Edelman, in Michael Neill and David Schalkwyk, eds. The Oxford Handbook to Shakespearean Tragedy (forthcoming from Oxford UP, 2012)

"Coriolanus and I" in Shakespeare: The Journal of the British Shakespeare Association 7. 2 (July 2011), 156-169

"Period Cramps," in Stephen Guy-Bray, Vin Nardizzi, and Will Stockton (eds.), Backward Gaze: Essays in Queer Renaissance Historiography (Ashgate Press, 2009)

"Queering History" co-authored with Jonathan Goldberg, PMLA 120.5 (October 2005): 1608-17

 

Mainstream Publications:

"Right and Righter," in The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle, May 18, 2012

"Me and the Small Mooh." Review of Jerry Pinto, Em and the Big Hoom (Aleph, 2012), in The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle, June 10, 2012

"The Literary and the Sentimental." Review of Musharraf Ali Farooqi, Between Clay and Dust (Aleph 2012), in The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle, June 17, 2012

"The Presumption of the Penis," in The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle, July 15, 2012

"Mother, Do You Love Me?" Review of Alison Bechdel, Are You My Mother?, in The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle, July 29, 2012

"Sheer Quakes", in Berfrois: Intellectual Jousting in the Republic of Letters, July 2011

"Cluster-Fuck," at the GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute roundtable, October 2009

The Best LGBT Books of 2011

 

Work In Progress

Indifference, or, Queer Universalism

This monograph organises itself around Alain Badiou’s suggestion in Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism that, in the face of  increasing claims of identitarian specificity, one might consider the politics and ethics of being “indifferent to difference.” Following up on the ideas of sameness and difference that animated my last book, I think about what it might mean, methodologically, to be indifferent to differences of chronology, culture, and sexuality. Rather than giving us an identifiable “queerness,” or queerness as an identity, a universalism premised on indifference would be queer in its resistance to ontology. This queer universalism would be neither additive nor predicative; instead, it would resist the regime of difference in which embodiment is considered the basis of authentic identity. Chapters include analyses of Shakespeare, Yinka Shonibare MBE, and the Indo-Persian art form of dastangoi.

 

 

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