Maisnam Arnapal

Graduate Student


Conflict Studies
Post/Decolonial Studies
South/Asian Studies
Disability Studies
Indigenous Studies


M.Phil., M.A., B.A. from University of Delhi


Maisnam Arnapal (any pronouns) is a Ph.D. student in Feminist Studies with a designated emphasis in Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Maisnam belongs to the Indigenous Meitei community from Manipur located in the India-Myanmar-China borderlands.
Additionally, Maisnam is a research fellow at the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies, and a public humanities fellow at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UCSB. Maisnam is also associated with the American Indian and Indigenous Collective, UCSB, and the Insitute for Research on Male Supremacism and is one of the founding members of the Inter-Asian research cluster, "Transgressing Border and Queering Futurity."


Focusing on one of South Asia's longest-running conflicts, Maisnam studies how the decades-long militarization and insurgency in Manipur are in a dialectical relationship with gender/sexual regimes. In doing so, Maisnam’s research centers queer and trans politics of resistance and survival against the backdrop of the tension between India's post-colonial racial violence and the ethnonationalist aspirations of the Manipuris.
Maisnam's research is also shaped by their own lived experience of being a conflict survivor and their publicly engaged scholarship in collaboration with feminist and LGBTQ activists. Maisnam's upcoming project is a documentary film on transmen life-making in times of conflict set in Manipur. You can find the trailer here.


Peer-reviewed article as first author: “Between ‘Cheeni’ and ‘Nupi Maanbi’: Transgender Politics in Manipur at the Intersection of Nation and Indigeneity”. South Asian Popular Culture. 21:2, 223-234, 2023. 
Book chapter: “Gender, Indigeneity, and History: The Battle of Kohima in Easterine Kire’s Mari” in Keeper of Stories: Critical Readings of Easterine Kire’s Novels edited by VeioPou. Tromsø: The Highlander Books. 2023.
Fiction: “The Motorcycle Diaries” in Queers in Quarantine, edited by Koyote Millar and Rahul Sen. Oslo: Mohini Books. 2023.
Non-academic publication as co-author: Consciously Speaking: A Short Terminology Book on Gender, Sex and Sexuality. Delhi: Avian We. 2021.