I have a wide range of academic interests, which are constantly evolving. Some of them include the following:
Gender and Sexuality Studies
Gender studies look at how concepts of masculinities and femininities are shaped by cultural and social contributing factors.
Sexuality is often equated with genitality, but it is more than that. Firstly, it refers to erotic experience and expression. Beyond that, it suggests the personality, longing, desire and passion of a human person. It denotes the way a person relates to another. Moreover, from a queer theological perspective, if affirms the fact that human, bodily experiences are avenues of connecting with the Divine. This view is often in direct opposition to more conservative circles that see the human body as weak and susceptible to temptation and sin. Sexuality is thus not something to be feared or dreaded. Rather, it needs to be understood and befriended. Gender and sexuality are issues that are inextricably intertwined.
I am particularly interested in studying, learning from and contributing to studies that engage with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and other queer persons from multi- and inter-disciplinary studies.
What I am particularly drawn to is how People Living with HIV negotiate their serostatus through life-giving strategies.
Theologies, Religions and Spiritualities
Theology is the study of God, on relationships between human persons and God, and on interpersonal human relationships as informed by this divine-human symbiosis. I am interested in Christian, Hindu and Muslim theologies, and Buddhist philosophies. Religion refers to an institutionalised and hierarchical structure of beliefs. Spirituality suggests a more fluid approach that emphasises the experiences of people who see a transcendental dimension in their lives. These three areas are not mutually exclusive.
Theologies of the sacraments and liturgy hold a special place in my heart as embodied rituals that respond to multiple forms of divine beckoning.
I am interested in theological methodologies which are inspired by queer theory, as well as body, erotic and sexual theologies.
Men and women each have wondrous, unique approaches to belief systems. I am keen to explore how men negotiate spiritual spaces in their lives as men and how those spaces impact on their everyday lives.
Non-Heteronormative Theologies and Spiritualities
I am interested in how non-heteronormative persons, which include gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, pansexual, asexual, queer, questioning persons and beyond, engage in spirituality, as well as their notions of God, and the ways in which they relate to God.
I am drawn to the diverse ways in which people of Asian descent negotiate their methodologies and strategies in understanding and relating to God.
While the term “queer” has often been used as a pejorative term for non-heterosexual communities, it has also been reappropriated by those very same communities as a badge of empowerment. Queer Theory emerged from, among other disciplines, LGBTIQ and feminist studies that seek to uncover the unstable constructions of gender, sexuality and identity. It is also an important tool that critiques expectations of what is considered to be “normal” in human lives.
I am interested in post-structuralism as a movement that seeks to critically deconstruct philosophical assumptions and allow for the extension of epistemological frameworks, particularly the works of Michel Foucault.
Culture and Society
What fascinates me about culture and society are their shifting and porous landscapes, as well as their unceasing processes of becoming that wonderfully trace the lines of human meaning.
Malaysia, with its wealth of history, politics, cultures, ethnicities, conflicts and progress, provides valuable insights into the development of human existence in this part of the world.