Northwestern Events Calendar


"South Asian Masculinities Through Ethnographic Film”

When: Wednesday, October 3, 2018
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM Central

Where: Kresge Hall, Trienens Hall (Room 1-515), 1880 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Neil Dixit  

Group: Gender & Sexuality Studies Program

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Harjant S. Gill will show his 30 min film, Mardistan (Macholand) followed by a Q&A. Mardistan (Macholand) explores Indian manhood articulated through the voices of four men from different generations and backgrounds. A middle-aged writer trying to make sense of the physical and sexual abuse he witnessed studying in an elite military academy, a Sikh father of twin daughters resisting the pressure to produce a son, a young 20-year-old college student looking for a girlfriend with whom he can lose his virginity, and a working-class gay activist coming out to his wife after twenty years of marriage. Together, their stories make up different dimensions of what it means to be a man in India today. Mardistan (Macholand) starts a conversation on critical issues including patriarchy, son preference, sexual violence, toxic masculinity and homophobia in a nation increasingly defined by social inequalities.

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Harjant Gill is an associate professor of anthropology at Towson University. He received his PhD from American University. His research examines the intersections of masculinity, modernity, transnational migration and popular culture in India. Gill is also an award-winning filmmaker and has made several ethnographic films that have screened at film festivals, academic conferences, and on television networks worldwide including BBC, Doordarshan (Indian National TV) and PBS. His films include Roots of Love which looks at the changing significance of hair and turban among Sikh men in India and Mardistan (Macholand) which explores Indian manhood focusing on issues of sexual violence, son preference and homophobia. Funded by Wenner-Gren Foundation and Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship, his latest film Sent Away Boys examines on how provincial communities across northern India are transformed by the exodus of young men giving up farming to seek a better future abroad. Gill is a Point Foundation alum (2006-11). He co-directed the SVA Film & Media Festival (2012-2014), and is currently serving on the board of directors of Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) and co-edits the Multimodal Anthropologies section of the journal American Anthropologist. His website is

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