As part of the Institute’s ongoing exploration of beauty practice, fashion, labor, and diaspora, we host Vanita Reddy (Texas A&M University), whose Fashioning Diaspora: Beauty, Femininity, and South Asian American Culture (Temple University Press, 2016) “is essential reading for scholarship on beauty” (erin Khuê Ninh). Reddy carefully maps how transnational itineraries of beauty and fashion shape South Asian American cultural identities and racialized belonging. Ayqa Khan is a Brooklyn-based artist and photographer whose digital illustrations of South Asian women aim to normalize body hair, and raise questions about hair removal practices. Through her work notions of “feminine” beauty are interrogated and re-presented. The work of Meera Sethi, a Toronto-based visual artist, explores fashion and the politics of dress, while foregrounding queer, diasporic, and post-colonial histories. She presents recent projects including Upping the Aunty, a multidimensional work comprised of street fashion photography, a coloring book for adults, and paintings that place the figure of the “Aunty” at the center of fashionability. Sharon Heijin Lee and Thuy Linh Tu (both from the NYU Department of Social & Cultural Analysis) serve as discussants.
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Cosponsored by the NYU Center for Multicultural Education & Programs and the A/P/A Studies Program in the NYU Department of Social & Cultural Analysis.
Image: Meera Sethi, Jaan (Firangi Rang Barangi series), 2009. Acrylic, ink, and pencil on paper, 18 in. x 50 in.