Skip to main content
Workshops & seminars

The Unfolding of Ardhanārīśvara

Date & time
Monday, January 29, 2024
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Registration is closed


This event is free



J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

Wheel chair accessible


As a half-male and half-female figure, Ardhanārīśvara has garnered significant academic attention. However, scholarship has primarily focused on the visual depictions, textual presences, and philosophical framings of Ardhanārīśvara while omitting content concerning the figure in living contexts. Moreover, academic works have hypothesized, theorized, and/or passingly referenced links between Ardhanārīśvara and peoples affiliated with “third gender” categorization but done little to investigate these purported connections further.

Join us as Phil Lagace addresses these lacunas and shortcomings by analyzing Ardhanārīśvara as situated within ground realities; this has included examining its incorporation into the annual Durgā Pūjā festivities of Kolkata by gender and sexuality rights activists and its place within the Kinnar Akhāḍā, a “transgender religious convent.” Drawing from this research, Phil will demonstrate that Ardhanārīśvara has been innovatively conceptualized and operationalized in recent years, reflecting a unique phase in its ongoing history.

This talk is part of the Southern Asia Studies Series, which will have programming through 2023-2024.

How can you participate? Join us in person or online by registering for the Zoom Meeting or watching live on YouTube.

Have questions? Send them to

About the Speaker

Phil Lagace

Phil Lagace is a PhD candidate in the Department of Religions and Cultures at Concordia University and an instructor within the Religion Department of Dawson College. For the past decade, his research has largely centered on Ardhanārīśvara, a composite Hindu deity whose body is split into male and female halves by a medial axis. As part of his SSHRC-funded doctoral project, he currently investigates the ways in which this figure relates to populations associated with the “third gender” designation in India.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Religions and Cultures 

Back to top

© Concordia University