Ashley Tellis

Freelance editor and journalist
Nantes IAS
Gender Studies
10 months

Research interests: Literary Theory, Gender Studies, LGBT Studies

Research Project

Identity articulations by two marginalised groups in India - Dalits and homosexuals

This project looks at the articulation of the identities of two marginalised groups in India - the Dalits (the lowest castes) and homosexuals - who have been at the forefront of demands for rights in recent decades. By examining mainly writings by and about them (in the first case, autobiographies of Dalits, particularly from Maharashtra, in Marathi ; and in the second, a series of creative writings in Marathi, legal judgements and historical texts), Ahsley Tellis interrogates the dominant and accepted frameworks and discourses of identity and rights, subjects them to critique and attempts to construct a language of minority identity that is aware of its own internal contradictions and identity, its psychic ambivalences and epistemic blockages and how they are perceived.
What would such a language look like? That is the aim and the burden of this project.


Ashley Tellis is an Associate Professor of English and Gender Studies, editor, journalist and LGBH rights campaigner. He was recently editor of Outlook magazine. His areas of research are gender, literature and minority identities. His PhD at Cambridge University focused on contemporary Irish women’s poetry.
His postdoctoral work as part of the Sex, Race and Globalization programme at the University of Arizona focused on postcolonial same-sex identities in India.
His recent publications include the co-edited volume (with Sruti Bala) The Global Trajectories of Queer: Re- Thinking Same-Sex Politics in the Global South (Brill: Amsterdam, 2015) and essays in Men and Feminism in India (Routledge, 2018) and Law and Violence (OUP, 2020), a textbook on literary modernism published by Worldview Books, Delhi (2022) for third year BA English students at Delhi University, entitled Modernism: Texts and Contexts. He also has essays forthcoming in a book on Indian media history and a journal essay on Affect Theory. He is editing a volume on gender and English studies in India entitled Recasting Gender (Routledge, 2023) and will be publishing an article in an issue of the International Journal of Welsh Writing in English, a special issue on the work of Raymond Williams.
He is also a writer and his first book of poems, A Turn of Breath (Tehreer, 2021), was published last year. He is currently working on a second book of poems, Desiring Men, due to be published in early 2023, and is completing his first novel, Small Moves, which will be published in December 2024.