Diablog Arondekar


In Anjali Arondekar's "Without a Trace: Sexuality and the Colonial Archive" there is a large discussion at hand about colonial historiography and sexuality studies. Throughout the article Arondekar presents cases of many researcher and their findings of the loose history of homosexuality. The main message after reading this article seems to be that many people, be them professors, researcher, or everyday people, crave the need to make a connection with themselves and the past. However, in having such a great need to do so in a sense takes away from what we are now.

Within Arondekar's article there were many things that causes questions to come to mind. One question that was stated within the article that caused me a lot of thought was "What kind of history does sexuality have?" Personally, I don't know much about sexuality's history, even less when it comes to the history of homosexuality. Other then the pop culture references and the few random facts about homosexuality within the ancient Greek culture, there isn't much that I can go off of. I understand the need to want to know more, wanting to connect with the past, however, with the little that is at hand how can people go about knowing this history?

Another thing that caught my attention was Robert Aldrich's quote, "..colonial homosexuality did not proclaim itself openly". If colonial homosexuality was never proclaimed openly, how can we track queer history? Having this element of underhandedness doesn't allow the information to be easily available to people today, which in turn just brings me back to my previous question. Along with Aldrich's quote, another statement had me being drawn back to the same question. "Scholars in disciplines ranging from literature and anthropology (the more favored locations) to law and science have held up the colonial archive as a storehouse of historical information that can reveal secrets about sexuality's past". Overall this statement I would like to discuss, I feel like there's a lot there and I would like to hear others input.

The quote from Shah sticks in my mind as well, "We may trap ourselves in the need of a history to sanction our existence." The final quote that sticks with me from this article is "homosexuality remains both obvious and elusive".

The need to connect with the past is strong for most people, however, Arondekar makes strong arguments within this article to believe that that connection is not as necessary as to be presented.


"homosexuality remains both obvious and elusive"- I don't even remember reading this statement in the article but now that you point it out it seems very interesting to me. I think that it is obvious (well, maybe to me) that there was indeed incidents of homosexuality in the colonial era but since is was taboo it wasn't expressed so it couldn't be documented- hence it's elusiveness.

That was along the same lines I was thinking. There have always been jokes between my girlfriend and I am something she heard about "The elusive lesbian", that's why the statement "homosexuality remain both obvious and elusive" stood out to me. We had made jokes about it but behind the joke there is truth. Even in today's world there is still a contradiction of the obviousness and elusiveness of homosexuality.

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