Published: 20th July 2021
This journal by St Stephen's College students is all about sexuality and oppression in history. Check it out
Once they started receiving abstracts of the papers to be submitted, the students we exposed to a lot more stories than they had expected. Stories their regular courses did not tell them
The annual journal of the History Society of Delhi's St Stephen’s College this year is all about exploring sexuality in history. Tarikh 2020-21 is titled Exploring Sexuality: Histories of Taboo and Transgression and the students accept that it's "dizzyingly broad". But it will also help them go beyond the scope of their formal curriculum and explore "histories of taboo and transgression" and understand "power structures in the realm of sexuality".
Even though the theme has been introduced in the formal curriculum, it does not explore the topic much, they tell us. "We found that our courses did not pay enough attention to it and decided to go ahead with the theme," said Mehr Gandhi, one of the Editors-in-Chief. "The topic was chosen from a list of shortlisted themes by the council. Due to the mismatch in schedules, the first-year students on the editorial board were not as involved in the process," she added.
Once they started receiving abstracts of the papers to be submitted, the students were exposed to a lot more stories than they had expected. "We came across stories of people and communities that we haven't encountered in our courses and other readings. I think the stories and perceptions of the transgender community, the impact of colonialism, the drag balls of 20th Century New York and other such stories and concepts that are included in the journal are a perfect depiction of how sexuality has been expressed and strained by society. It also depicted the exclusion of such characters from our disciplines and courses in college," said Aisha Nikita Singh.
The articles included in the journal range from Kālidāsa and the sexuality expressed through his poems to homosexuality during the Italian Renaissance. The students had help from some of the staff members who helped them with the production of the journal. The PDF of the journal is free and can be accessed by anyone along with the previous editions of the annual publication.