Mashrur Shahid Hossain
Mashrur Shahid Hossain Professor, Department of English



Comparative Literature ● Postcolonialism ● ‘Minority’ Discourse ● Pedagogy ● Gender and Queer Studies ● Cultural Studies ● Media and Communication ● Research Methodology


"To Touch or Not To Touch: Towards Tactile Reading",
To Touch or To Touch: Towards Tactile Reading
Design Author: Zaki Rezwan Rahin ● Anekaant: A Journal of Polysemic Thought, Vol. 5, Spring 2016-2017, Balwant Parekh Centre for General Semantics and Other Human Sciences, Baroda, India

Reading involves materials; e.g. the plate of transcription, and the bookmark. Reading also involves muscular movement; e.g. touching the stone plate of transcriptions, shuffling pages, and pressing computer keys. In the braille system, a visually challenged person touches the text with fingers to read. But, reading can have materiality literally in the sense that reading has thingness, not because it stops working as a material, but because it starts working as such. The present 'posterticle' (poster-article) explores, experiences, and enumerates the tactility of reading literature, that is, the ‘consumptional materiality’ of literature - how contemporary (from surrealist to postmodern) literary texts engage readers in the acts of experiencing, instead of simply decoding, through tactuality. The paper contends that tactile reading re-forms our perceptions and praxis of reading as well as frees touch from mere utilitarianism and activates a new, raw connection with the world of senses.

"বাংলাদেশের ইংরেজি ভাষা-পরিস্থিতি",
Matribhasha (মাতৃভাষা), Vol. 1, Year 2, Jan-Jun 2016, IMLI (International Mother Language Institute), Dhaka, Bangladesh


"Women Against Violence: Mahashweta Devi’s Dopdi and the Subversion of Masculinist Victim Discourse",
Co-author: Sharmin Afroz Shantu ● Chaos, Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring 2015, Department of English, Independent University, Bangladesh

This paper is a part of a project isolating strong-spirited female characters in select literary discourses with a view to understand if and how women respond to acts of violence against women. The present paper, in its feminist-psychoanalytic reading of Mahashweta Devi’s short story, “Draupadi” (translated by Spivak), situates the rape of Draupadi aka Dopdi against a complex scenario of oppressive state and ideological mechanisms: law, nationalism, castism, classism, mythopoeia, and patriarchy. Exploring and critiquing the voyeuristic and exploitative nature of conventional rape narratives, the paper contends that the narrative of the rape of Dopdi and her post-rape performativity subvert masculinist modes of narration of violence against women.

“‘Is their Ogun our Azraeel, sir?’: Teaching Postcolonial Literature in Bangladesh",
Panini, NSU Studies in Language and Literature, Vol. 6, 2012-2014, Department of English and Modern Languages, North South University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

This paper addresses the problems and potential of teaching postcolonial literature in English in a Bangladeshi classroom. It isolates three problems that a Bangladeshi student may face while studying postcolonial literature in English: first, lack of information and cultural orientation which may problematize the contextualizing of texts; second, the problem of “english” which may confuse communication; and third, coming to terms with the use of indigenous performance elements which are often integral to the full import of the texts. The paper, then, offers a number of inter-disciplinary keys, or technologies of teaching, which may be used or modified to out-problem these intertextual and intercultural problems. Ranging from compiling ‘Banglish’ dictionary to culture 'shomiksha,' these technologies intend to appropriate the hegemony of ideological and moral indoctrination that education in English (read: the language of the colonizer) often affects and to encourage contrapuntal reading of literary works required in a world traversed by representational politics.

Editorial ● “Only connect!”: In lieu of an editorial,
Journal of Journalism and Media Studies, Vol. 1, 2014, Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh


"Nobel, Ogun, and the Africas: African Nobel Laureates in Literature vis-à-vis Outsiderness and Otherness",
Literature, History and Culture: Writings in Honour of Professor Aali Areefur Rehman, 2014, Department of English, University of Rajshahi, Bagladesh

This paper re-views four African Nobel Laureates in Literature – Wole Soyinka (Nigeria), Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt), Nadine Gordimer (South Africa), and J M Coetzee (South Africa) – with a view to understand their outsiderness and otherness vis-à-vis Nobel Prize which has for long been Eurocentric and white-centric. By offering a critical reading of their Nobel Lectures and Banquet Speeches as well as relevant Press Releases, Citations, and Award Ceremony Speeches made by the Swedish Academy, the paper explores how these writers have appropriated outsiderness and otherness and transformed them into involvement and engagement. This spirit of transformation resonates with the one with which the ‘Merchant of Death,’ Alfred Nobel morphed means of destruction into a ritual to promote activities devoted to, taking words from his will, “the greatest benefit” of humankind. This antinomous spirit of transmutation is essentially Ogunian.

"Kyun you yeh hai yaar: Q-U-E-E-R and Dattani’s Postcoloial Burden",
Humanities Circle, Vol. 01 Issue 02, 2013, Central University of Kerala, India

Mahesh Dattani queers. His plays – both stage and radio – queer (read: destabilize) demarcating lines and controlling centres that limit human identities into types and stereotypes. The present paper gives a postcolonial reading of Dattani’s ‘queer’ plays to trace the movements that his characters (have to) make within/through/across/over different socio-political institutions. It reads through the predicament, rebellion, and revelry of Dattani ‘men’ to explore how queer guys are dispossessed and dislocated in varying degrees by the ‘racex’ (race-sex) axioms – family, nation, and class/caste – and how they respond to it. The paper contends that Dattani queers heteropatriarchal schema. First, the select ‘queer’ plays expose the façade of heterosexual marriage system, and, more importantly, bring forward alternative forms of family system. Second, the plays contribute to de-demonize orientalist representation of the non-West ‘queerity’ as well as break space for the Indian gay population. Third, Dattani aligns queer experience with class/caste issues to expose both the exploitative mechanism that the poor and outcast gay men are subject to and the potential affirmative relationships that these doubly-othered men may venture. The paper appreciates Dattani both for introducing queerness to the Indian stage not as an appropriated foreign praxis but as an 'aapna' one and for his attempt at resisting reductive identity politics and subverting compulsory heterosexuality.

"When Birnamwood ‘came’ to Bollywood: Adapting Film Adaptations of Literary Classics for Literature Classes",
Harvest, Jahangirnagar Studies in Language and Literature, Vol. 28, 2013, Department of English, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

This paper addresses the problems of using film adaptations of literary classics in teaching the same. Hybrid and interdisciplinary, adaptation involves more than generic shift and contextualization. It is essentially interpretative and intricately intertextual. Analysis and appreciation of adaptations, therefore, require rhetorical skill and knowledge of different modes of communication. Concentrating on the ‘film’ adaptations of ‘literary’ classics, the present paper is divided into three parts. First, it offers a short introduction to the complex nature and types of adaptation, and, second, it underscores the essential differences between two mediums – book and film – and how these differences impact on the study of adaptation. Taking threads from the first two chapters, the third one identifies four problems of using film adaptations in literature classes and recommends ways of adapting film adaptations for teaching literature. Reading adaptation vis-à-vis the contemporary era of postmodernism and post-disciplinarity, the paper contends that any study and use of film adaptation of literary classics should be dialogic and critical which will not only leave student-readers in/formed critics and consumers but also help them to transcend the high culture/low culture divide and garner tools to contribute significantly to both the media.

"Diving into 'the sewers of our national soul': frontier and fraternity in Doris Lessing’s 'The eye of God in paradise'",
Critical Space, October 2012, Glocal Institute for Language and Cultural Studies, India

This paper reads Doris Lessing's long story, “The eye of God in paradise” as an enriching critique of nationalism that often seeks its legitimacy through war and racism as well as an incisive exploration of the pose of fraternity that we often make in a multicultural situation. Divided into two major sections named after two German characters, the paper, first, discusses how nationalism is arbitrarily formed and often expressed through extreme ethnocentrism and xenophobia, or what Baliber calls "external racism." Second, the paper studies bizarre paintings of Dr Kroll, a mysterious doctor in a mental hospital, who paints closed door when he is in extreme of his moods: buoyant or dejected. The words "frontier" and "fraternity" – both culled from war-and-revolution vocabulary – in the title of this paper connote the binary oppositions which nationalism relies on: appearance and reality, the seen and the unseen, visible borders (frontier) that demarcate the bodies and felt emotions (fraternity) that connect. The combination of these two words foregrounds, on the one hand, racism, the internalized boundary that visibly and ritualistically excludes the ‘others,’ and, on the other, how visible borders lead to manufacture internal borders.

Critical Exchange ● "Tech/no-body vis-à-vis No-where: Trekking through Queer and Cyberia to Posthumanities",
Harvest, Jahangirnagar Studies in Language and Literature, Vol. 27, 2012, Department of English, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh
"How to survive 'kandon koota': Narrativizing memory and the body in Selim-Al-Deen’s _Kit’tonkhola_",
The Theatre Studies, Vol. XIX, 2012, Department of Drama and Dramatics, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

The ‘body’ has been instrumental in the act of inscribing and establishing hegemony: colonial, racial, sexual, gendered, etc. If so, the same site – the body being material, active, and performative – can be effectively employed to subvert hegemonic codings and reinstate subjectivity. One of the significant aspects of postcolonial theatre is this deconstructive representation of the body. In the recent years, Postcolonial Studies, Body Studies, Queer Theory, and Cultural Studies have re-read human discourses to explore how hetero-patriarchal discursive regimes have controlled and categorized ‘bodies’ to strengthen and maintain power. The present paper, in its reading of a Bangla play, Kit’tonkhola by Selim Al Deen, addresses the issue of the policing and politicizing of the body. Written by one of the greatest Bangalee playwrights, Kit’tonkhola problematizes dominant narrativity (for example, the title itself is in a local language) and foregrounds the power of orature which in turn gives form – body – to the unspoken, unheard voices of the people who are defined – and thus othered and marginalized – by different aspects and movements of the body: so there are migrant labourers (like Shonai the epileptic protagonist), sensual sexworkers (like Bonoshree who commits suicide), homosexual hijras (like Chhaya who has been sexually exploited for long), and subaltern folks (like Dalimon who intend to transcend subalterneity but fails to gather the courage). Equally significantly does the play make a syncretic use of stage to accommodate diverse human experiences that inform the annual fair called ‘Kit’tonkhola.’ The paper argues that Kit’tonkhola, with its epical range of characters, spaces, and events, foregrounds the struggle and stubborn survival of nomadic and subaltern people who cherish a hope – dream probably – to move towards the land of transformation: Dukhaipur.

"From Nabab to Kebab: The re-gazing of masculinity in Bangladeshi fashion photo-discourse",
Co-author: Tania Tasneem Hossain ● Harvest, Jahangirnagar Studies in Language and Literature, Vol. 26, 2011, Department of English, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

This paper gives a cultural reading of the representation of ‘man’ and masculinity in the fashion photo-discourse in Bangladesh with a view to explore if new concepts of masculinity are in the making. By analyzing eight components that form the composition of the visuals, the paper reads visuals of select print adverts and promotional materials with an aim to identify differing codes of masculinity which have arguably re-constructed ‘man’ as an object of desire – an object eroticized, sexualized, and fetishized. Promulgated and popularized through beauty salons, beauty contests, muscular celebrities, body care products, and fashion magazines, the word ‘beauty’ has been added to the conception of masculinity. The first part of a longer paper, this article intends to come to terms with two complex issues: first, if the recent spectacle of masculinity can be labeled as re-conceptualizing of masculinity, and second, if and to what extent it has subverted the representations and understanding of gender identities and the politics of gaze.

"Ecstatic Dance! Artistic Bang!!: The economics of metrosexual masculinity in Bangladeshi haute couture visual discourse",
Nrvijnana Patrika, Journal of Anthropology Vol. 16, 2011, Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

This paper gives a cultural reading of the representation of ‘man’ and masculinity in the Bangladeshi haute couture visual discourses to understand if and how the re-conceptualizing of masculinity feeds capitalist, consumerist concerns. The paper views ‘masculinity’ as a cultural construct, always being negotiated with the notions of patriarchy and heterosexuality that have been fashioning masculinities and masculinizing fashion. Giving compositional and critical readings of some select visuals, the paper observes that contemporary men’s clothing has cashed in on a new use of sexuality and gendering to ensure good sales. Promulgated and popularized through beauty salons, beauty contests, muscular celebrities, body and hair care products, and fashion magazines, the concept of “attractiveness” has been added to the image of masculinity: this attractiveness is a combination of, for example, gym-toned body curves (e.g. the Ecstasy ‘dudes’), glowing cleanliness (e.g. the Artisti ‘men’), styled hair (e.g. the BANG! ‘boys’) and trendy accessories (e.g. the Soul Dance ‘guys’). This invocation of ‘metrosexuality’ blurs gendered binaries as well as leaves men sexualized and queered. On the other hand, the comparison standards set by the well-groomed, well-bodied models and their cool and osthir outfit have every possibility to lower the consuming men’s self-confidence and generate anxiety and depression. The present paper intends to come to terms with three problematics: first, if the metrosexual masculinity culture is overtaking the retrosexual one; second, if and how metrosexual culture affects consumer behaviour; and third, if and to what extent it has generated ‘masculine stress.’

Dancing like a man, fighting like a queen: Queering querying gendering (read: how ‘queerity’ destabilizes gendering),
Harvest, Jahangirnagar Studies in Language and Literature, Vol. 25, 2010, Department of English, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

This discussion of queer traces the evolution of ‘queer’ as a signifier and theories as well with a view to read queer texts and re-read queerness overlooked in seminal texts. Historicising the development of queer is important to underscore the politics of the active/passive, macho/femme schema, a schema that was questioned and subverted by postmodernist theorists in the 1990s, particularly by Butler and Sedgwick, generating what later appeared as queer theories. The present discussion tries to understand the fleeting nature and subversive operation of queer and evaluate its appearance and treatment in literature. While the treatment of queerness in literature has long been problematized by a mixed sense of stigma and secrecy, there are texts that have transcended not only the narratorial furtiveness but also the gendering binaries. Taking samples from writings ranging from the Mahabharata to Whitman to Dattani, this discussion offers the notion of ‘queerity’ and argues that queering (read: destabilizing) a text – be it queer or anti-queer – destabilizes notions and praxis of identity and category, particularly sexualities and gendering.

"De-, or re-colonizing?: Contextualizing the Teaching of English Literature in the Bangladeshi Universities",
Whither Policy Reforms in Education: Lessons and Challenges, 2009, Unnayan Onneshan, Dhaka, Bangladesh

This paper is part of a larger paper investigating the nature and function of English literary studies in Bangladeshi universities. The present paper, in its limited range, attempts to investigate how the syllabuses, staff-psychograph, and teaching practices in Bangladeshi English departments have maintained distinct and definitive colonial legacy. Against this scenario, the paper argues that English literature – because of its being British/English – can/should no more be taught and learnt as self-referential aesthetic episteme; it has to be (re-)positioned socio-historically and culturally in academic researches and, more importantly, in teaching. Also the time is ripe to consider thoroughly the exigency – and the urgency – of introducing and/or expanding postcolonial studies in English departments. It appears that the university teaching of English, instead of interrogating and dismantling Briticentrism and binary myths, tends to overlook the necessity of decolonization and in a way entertains re-colonization. It then may not sound shocking to propose that the Departments of English (Literature) be baptized into Departments of Literature in English.

"'news from poems': The Significance of Small Things in the Poetry of William Carlos Williams",
The Eastern University Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2009, Eastern University, Bangladesh

One of the most prominent poets of the Imagist and Objectivist tradition, William Carlos Williams consistently attempted to present “the thing itself” as accurately and vividly as possible in his poems. In his poetics, he tried to address the subject/object, imagination/reality dichotomies: the function of imagination is not to tamper with reality but to successfully transform it into something – not necessarily sublime – different. And it is by letting imagination dance over a commonplace thing, he believed, that one may experience a new significance in the thing in particular and/or a fresh perception of life in general. The present paper reviews Williams’ poetics and reads in it an active, optimistic attitude to life: understanding his poetry demands readers’ going through experiencing similar invocation of sensation and imagination, discovery and invention, that the poet had gone through. The readers are invited to explore significance in every particular object and incident, which may render the world of objects we live in fresher, more alive, and more meaningful. In this age of media hegemony and digitized communication, the adamic vision of Williams’ poetry has the potential to provide people space to explore the power of sensitivity and imagination.

"‘M (T_T) if pos snd 500/9.jorury.TTYL’: The Impact of Txtspeak on Communication, Language, and Modes of Expression",
Harvest, Jahangirnagar Studies in Language and Literature, Vol. 23, 2008, Department of English, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

This article traces the changes that have been wrought on language by the advent and popularity of mobile phone culture in Bangladesh. The SMS language, or txtspeak, has formed txt-subcultures & developed a new kind of literacy which is not only customized & spontaneous but also deconstructing Standard English. The txtspeak – a pidgin that globe-trots – has a distinct style the characteristics of which include lack of grammar, use of abbreviations, insertion of pictures and symbols, the minimizing of space, indifference to mechanics, use of indigenous language, & visualization. To many, especially the Y generation, this change in language is a welcome revolution, an inevitable evolution, while many find txtspeak dangerous, a culture that will surely lead to linguistic dystopia. In its limited range, the present paper enquires three issues: if txtspeak is communication-friendly; to what extent does it affect the use of language; & to what extent does it reflect and deconstruct our behaviour and modes of expression. The paper argues that txtspeak culture is inevitable; that txtspeak, along with E-learning, has been appropriating English language while at the same time creating more urgency to know English leading to hybridized languages; that txtspeak makes communication problematic & affects students’ language aptitude; that txtspeak culture, by discouraging the need for speaking & reconstituting ways of expression, may strongly impact upon human psychology.

“in iani own eye”: Out-Englishing English in Postcolonial Literature in English,
The Jahangirnagar Review Part C, Vol. XVIII, 2006-2007, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

This article deals with three abrogationist linguistic strategies that postcolonial literatures have employed: relexification, creole, and pidgin. Foregrounding and manipulating the speaking/writing dichotomies, these strategies have effectively resisted the hegemonic assumptions embedded in English and, more importantly, reinstate the national-linguistic-cultural nucleus by mobilizing cultural distance and cultural specificity. The paper also contends that these "englishes" reclaim unduly-suppressed orature to contest and complement the scribal.

"منکرنک: the politics of indigenous imagery and referrals in postcolonial literatures in E/english",
Nrvijnana Patrika, Journal of Anthropology Vol. 12, 2007, Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

... We’d like to show the ways in which postcolonial writers in English employ referrals (allusions and symbols) and images (similes and metaphors mainly) that reference indigenous elements and experiences, relatively unfamiliar to the metropolitan readers and unapproachable without the help of glossary, sometimes, as in the case of “Atumpan,” even with a glossary. The paper contends that this strategy mobilizes "cultural distance" – giving the impression like This literary piece written in English is non-English, non-western, and "cultural specificity" as well – giving the impression that This writing is of that community, reinstating the national-historical-cultural nucleus of postcolonial cultures or diasporic continuum. On a subtler level, this strategy has the potential to subvert colonial subject-positioning, situating the otherized object in the position of orator/interpreter/subject that selves, knows others, and redirects the othering gazes.

"Ear-ing, Eye-ing, and Mouth-ing: The Politics of Alter/native Discourse in Postcolonial Literatures",
"O-ing, N-ing, and -ing: The Politics of Alter/native Discourse in Postcolonial Literatures"
Harvest, Jahangirnagar Studies in Language and Literature, Vol. 21, 2006, Department of English, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

This article deals with three performance elements available in postcolonial literatures: songs and music, beat and rhythm, and dance and masquerade. It tries to locate and understand the different ways in which the use of what we may call "alter/native discourse" has attempted to resist the dominant discourse by interpolating the very medium and its ways of expression. This strategy of interpolation contests the hegemonic codes embedded in English and, more importantly, it reinstates the national-linguistic-cultural nucleus by constructing cultural distance and cultural specificity.

"Tommy in Fagman shirt: Mosaic Masochism in Saul Bellow’s _Seize the Day_",
Premier University Journal, 2005, Premier University, Bangladesh

Saul Bellow’s Seize the Day tells the story of a slob, Tommy Wilhelm, who secures a special potential to fail, and Tommy never wavers to cash on this potential. This weird propensity poses the central enigma of the novel: repeated failure of Tommy. His intuition always warns him of the characters and situations which could bring about problems; still — or so? —Tommy has tried those characters or situations and encountered failure. This is masochistic. The present article reads Tommy’s masochism in relation to castration complex, homosexuality, and Judaism with a view to understanding the complex nature and import of masochism and exploring how masochism breaks path towards affirmation and recognition of life!

"Getting out to getting in: The potential of performance elements in cultural intervention programmes",
Harvest, Jahangirnagar Studies in Language and Literature, Vol. 17, 2002, Department of English, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

This essay examines the efficacy of theatre mode as an effective means of social mobilization programmes intended to ‘empower’ people. It argues that theatre performance elements accommodate certain potential which, if cleverly and honestly employed, can lever people of the margin communities to a more 'dignified' and enabled position  empowered, confident, positive, and assertive. The paper inquires why and how and to what extent may performance elements impact on the audience and the performers alike. The approach to theatre is qualitative and pragmatic yet not at the cost of aesthetic values. The paper contends that theatre is a most  and probably, the only  effective medium where people have space to ‘get out’ of themselves, to ‘get in’ a new entity, and consequently ‘get on’ to their own state and status.

"The Barber of Barbarism: Igbo Proverbs in (Hi)storying the Igbos in _Things Fall Apart_",
The Jahangirnagar Review Part C, Vol. XII, 2000-2001, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh


Mashrur Shahid Hossain, “We know what he means” ... oh, really?: Queering Queer Diaspora, New Perspectives in Diasporic Experience, Brill, Netherlands, 2014 (ebook 2019).
Book Chapter ● New Perspectives in Diasporic Experience, Eds. Connie Rapoo, Maria Luisa Coelho and Zahira Sarwar, E-Book, 2014 (ebook 2019), Inter-disciplinary Press, Oxford, UK

This chapter inquires queer Diaspora through a queer reading of select South Asian films and literature. Viewing Diaspora as a topo-temporal phenomenon that negotiates between home and outdoor, stasis and kinesis, lived and imagined places, the chapter argues that queer Diaspora problematizes both spaces and movements. The chapter is divided into four sections. The first section charts in brief the movement in (queer) Diaspora criticism from territory-centred models to border paradigm that, later, gave way to celebrate the rhizomatic potential of diasporic formation and Diaspora space. The second section gives a critical reading of select South Asian texts that represent four types of queer Diaspora: gay Diaspora, lesbian Diaspora, trans Diaspora, and queercrip Diaspora. Taking cue from these texts, the third section explores if queer Diaspora marshals and markets spaces and if it conflates imperial, racial, and masculinist binary systems. The fourth section contends that queer Diaspora, in spite of or along with its biopsychosocial normativity, still foregrounds movement and negotiation between power blocs, resulting in infinite possibilities of identity and subjectivity formations that are always in dispersal, always deferred. The curious point of negotiation is: queer Diaspora queers (read: deterritorializes) Diaspora and diasporizes (read: minoritizes) the queer.

Mashrur Shahid Hossain, Violence that dare not speak its name: Construing and De-construing Minority Men, Discoursing Minority: In-Text and Co-Text, Rawat Publications, India, 2014.
Book Chapter ● Co-author: Kazi Ashraf Uddin ● Discoursing Minority: In-Text and Co-Text, Eds. Anisur Rahman, Supriya Agarwal, and Bhumika Sharma, 2014, Rawat Publications, India

If ‘minority’ is construed as a hegemonic construct, some were born as ‘minority’ – e.g. dalit, black, and hermaphrodite – and some become ‘minority’ – e.g. bachelor, rape-victim, and school-rejects. Contemporary critical theories have, however, explored the conceptual incoherence of the majority/minority divides that the present paper addresses. It concentrates on ‘men’ (i.e. human beings inhabiting male subject position, including boys, guys, and hijras) who are ‘violated’ and thus, despite being ‘men,’ almost invariably inevitably – linguistically, mentally, culturally – minoritized. One of the most under-stated subjects in news, law, history, and theory, violated men are consistently mis- or zero-represented in film and literature. The paper addresses the issues in three inter-related sections. First section – “Manning Majority” – de-construes what we (who is this ‘we,’ by the way) understand as ‘minority’ to contend that ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ overlap and negotiate incessantly. Second section – “Minority Men” – identifies four major forms of violence against men. Focusing on sexual abuse, it shows how sexual violence against men is either hushed up or not properly perceived, and how, when identified, the boy or man abused is stigmatized, marginalized, and emasculated. This castration-complex-went-reverse often results in trauma, counter-violence, submission, and/or sexual re-orientation. The third section, entitled “I are”, reads three texts – Khaled Hosseini’s novel, The Kite Runner, A Revathi’s autobiographical The Truth about Me: A Hijra Life Story, and Onir’s film, I Am – that add insight into the predicaments of violated ‘men’ (?) from the outside (mainstream discourse), inside (minority discourse), and liminal (intervening discourse) perspectives respectively. The paper argues that sexual and gendered violence when enacted against and not by a man problematizes the majority/minority divides – man/woman, masculine/feminine, active/passive, heterosexual/homosexual – and exposes a liberating but disturbing realization that the signifier, ‘minority,’ slides endlessly in and through discourse. ‘Minority’ may thus become, referencing Deleuze and Guattari, ‘minor’ that not only destabilizes the notion of minority but also, rather more importantly, deterritorializes masculinity and celebrates gender nomadism.

Mashrur Shahid Hossain, When Dopdi En/Counters Draupadi: Towards an Alternative Rhetoric of Tribal (Female) Victimhood, Tribal Welfare in India, Global Publishing House, India, 2013.
Book Chapter  Tribal Welfare in India, Ed. Jyotiraj Pathak, 2013, Global Publishing House, India

This paper discusses the political implication of victimhood in the study of tribal women in India. Victimhood is a subject formation that ‘naturalizes’ the assumption that vicitimization is tragically inevitable and, therefore, there is little to do to redress violence. While phallgoocentric narratives promote female victimhood, radical feminists theories too, with a view to stop violence against women, ironically endorse essentialist notion of victimhood. It is recently that victimhood has entered the arena of political theory and promised to have significant impact. The present paper gives a feminist-psychoanalytic reading of Mahasweta Devi’s story, “Draupadi” to underscore if and how victimhood can be contested and transcended. It uses the phrase ‘tribal (female) vicitmhood’ to address the uniqueness of the situation of tribal women (being already doubly oppressed) who participate in rebellious activities. Concentrating on an incisive study of the rape of Dopdi (local variation of ‘Drauapadi) Mejhen and her post-rape action, the paper contends that translocation of the ‘sites of initiation,’ e.g. subalterneity and sexuality, has the potential of transcending victimhood that can have strong political intervention in modifying oppressive administering system and forwarding effective contract and treaties made for tribal welfare.

Mashrur Shahid Hossain, “They can’t see us at all”: queering ontogenetic liminality through ‘gayze’, Reconsidering Social Identification: Race, Gender, Class, and Caste, Routledge, India, 2011.
Book Chapter ● Modes of Social Identification and Division: Reconsidering the Structures of Race, Gender, Class, and Caste, Ed. Abdul JanMohamed, 2011, Routledge, India


Mashrur Shahid Hossain, enforced ab/normalcy: the sex worker hijras and the (re)appropriation of s/he identity, Sex Work Matters, Zed Books, USA, 2010.
Book Chapter ● Sex Work Matters, Eds. Melissa Hope Ditmore, Antonia Levy and Alys Willman, 2010, Zed Books, USA


Mashrur Shahid Hossain

Department of English
Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka-1342, Bangladesh.
Cell Phone: +88 01818097116
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