Jessica Hinchy's Governing Gender and Sexuality in Colonial India: The Hijra, c. 1850–1900 is an important historical intervention in scholarship and activism of hijra/khwaja sira and transgender communities in South Asia. Hinchy offers a close reading of the colonial archive, particularly pertaining to part 2 of the Criminal Tribes Act (CTA) of the North-West Provinces (NWP), which systematically tried to root hijras, derogatorily labeled “eunuchs,” out of existence. The CTA and the more cited “unnatural [sexual] offences” clause of section 377 have been deployed in ethnographic literature and activism concerning hijra and other gender-variant and LBGTQI+ communities, to exemplify the importation of British heteronormative ideas to South Asia. This new work complicates these assumptions of the unilaterality of metropole ideas to the colony and questions the overall coherence of the colonial governance of gender and sexuality. Hinchy highlights the provinciality of CTA criminalization in NWP, presents...

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