Accessibility statement

Melissa Chanin
PhD student



I completed my BA (Hons.) in English Literature and History in 2018 and my MA in English Literary Studies with World and Postcolonial Cultures (Distinction) in 2019, both at the University of Exeter. My MA dissertation was titled "India’s Third Gender: Exploring Queer Identity, Liminal Space and Sex Work in India’s Post-Colonial Hijra Communities", and centred around representations of hijra identity in works of fiction and non-fiction. My current PhD research at the Centre for Women's Studies builds on some of the ideas explored in my MA dissertation, and is supervised by Dr Clare Bielby and Dr Boriana Alexandrova.



My PhD research examines hijra life writing to understand how hijras conceptualise and narrate their experiences and identities, in their own terms. I am particularly interested in questions of voice and narrative representation of subaltern individuals and communities. I am primarily using textual analysis and close reading to examine hijra life writing texts from the last twenty years. I am currently exploring how storytelling can be seen as part of a personal or affective archive, and how life writing texts provide alternative narratives, and ways of knowing to traditional, national archives.



Selected publications

Chahin, M. (2019) 'Religion and the Emasculated Body in Arundhati Roy's "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness"' paper presented at University of Exeter.



Contact details

Melissa Chanin
PhD student
Centre for Women's Studies
University of York
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD