Blade Runner

Geeta Patel is the Director of UVA in India and an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia. She has published widely on the collusive conundrums posed by bringing finance, science, sexuality and aesthetics together. She has also translated lyric and prose from Sanskrit, Urdu, Hindi and Braj, and is the author of the acclaimed, Lyrical Movements, Historical Hauntings: On Gender, Colonialism and Desire in Miraji’s Urdu Poetry. She is co-editor of two journal issues that engage several of her areas of expertise: “Area Impossible” for GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (2016), with Anjali Arondekar; and “Trust and Islamic Capital” for Society and Business Review (2016-2017) with Rula Al-Abdulrazak. She is currently working on three projects: the poetics of finance (historical pensions, insurance, credit, debt) and farm finance; Ismat Chughtai; and on fantasies embedded in advertising.

Her new book, Risky Bodies & Techno-Intimacy: reflections on sexuality, media, science finance is recently published by Women Unlimited. 

Risky Bodies & Techno-Intimacy traverses the technologically mediated intimacies that people fashion as they grapple with the radical uncertainties that inhabit their lives. Elusive snarls and double binds dog the everyday.

By working with materials salvaged from various genres of science, this provocative, cutting edge book charts uncommon routes through enigmatic stalemates: political economies of cinematic archives; domesticity; lyrical temporalities; aesthetic mobilisations; and emergent financial forms. Along the way, Patel’s poetic, edgy, brutal, and compassionate analyses burrow deep under the skin of habits that we hold dear, habits that breathe us into life even as they clasp us.

Brinda Bose at JNU says: A work of intricacy and importance. Patel writes poetically, erotically about the risk that inhabits our everyday through the mundane and the fantastical — behaviour and thought of habit, montages and transitions of lived and imagined technae, mobile materialities, technologies of the flesh, political economies, capitalised cultures. It weaves a potent, perilous tale of adventure and minute discoveries, countermonumental’, contingent, sexy. Seductive and absorbing.

Anjali Arondekar@ UCI: This dazzling, commodious book offers new angles on habitual ways of thinking about historiography, technology and sexuality. Geeta Patel narrates what she calls ‘techno-intimacy’ with inimitable lyricism, political commitment and imagination. In stunning analyses of a range of archival genres, from the gendered origins of financial forms, to cinematic texts and the aesthetics of temporality and history in South Asia, Patel provides moving meditations on the critical impasses that haunt our intellectual lives. This is an inspiring and necessary book for our times and will inform our critical discourse for years to come.

And finally, Deborah G. Johnson, her colleague at the University of Virginia says: Geeta Patel is a deep thinker. In Risky Bodies she takes us with her on a rich and complex journey to show us how techno-intimacies work. Patel navigates with technology, philosophy, gender, finance and more, creating conversations that will continue for some time.

Rs. 795, 386 pages in hardcover, ISBN: 9788188965946