Sorry for the long…

Sorry for the long silence. I can't explain it in detail, I'm afraid, since it impinges on other peoples' privacy, so I'll just say that for much of the last week, I've been contemplating some fairly drastic changes to my life, such contemplation requiring a lot of time and attention (and some emotional chaos). But it looks now like things are pretty much going to stay as they are, so we can return to our regularly scheduled programming. Sorry for the obscurity.

I had a nice time out in Ann Arbor at the SAAN conference in the midst of all the chaos; met some interesting speakers and was super-impressed by the organizational capabilities of the undergrads running the conference. They did a great job. I particularly enjoyed the performances of hip-hop artist Chee Malabar and comedian Preacher Moss, and had interesting conversations with newspaper reporter Prema Oza, Sepia-Mutiny writer Abhishek Tripathi, documentary photographer Preston Merchant, documentary filmmaker Naeem Mohaiemen, sports writer Amar Shah (and his lovely actress wife Tejal) -- just to name a few of the fascinating speakers at the conference.

I think my panel on S. Asian sexuality went reasonably well, though it was such a brief time period that I couldn't really cover all the areas they asked me to (such as sexual customs/practices in S. Asia today, which honestly, I don't know so much about in any case). People who attended seemed to like it for the most part, and we had really vibrant discussion in the small groups afterwards. I asked the participants to reveal something about their sexuality, as a way of kicking off that discussion, and all of them pretty much did, even though I'm sure many found that at least a little scary.

Much of the conversation seemed to center around gender issues and social codes, specifically the ways in which young college-age S. Asian women are classified into 'good girls' and 'bad girls' -- a lot of discussion abut who's doing that classification, and how much it really reflects [male] attitudes towards women. Fascinating.

I got to dress up in my copper sari for the formal, which was fun; there will be pictures eventually on their site.

Got home Sunday late, spent Monday with a lunch meeting for emerging arts leaders at the Chicago Cultural Center, followed by some hours at Filter, talking to Dave Lewis and writing a bit, then coming home to do a fair bit of school prep, which took quite a bit longer than anticipated, such that I missed the DesiLit book club meeting. Ah well. Hopefully the next one...

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