“Queerness in the USSR” with Rustam Alexander

“Queerness in the USSR” with Rustam Alexander
22 ago 2023 · 48 min. 43 sec.

What did queer life look like in Soviet Russia? Rustam Alexander has written two whole books about gay oppression in Russian history and is here to share what they learned...

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What did queer life look like in Soviet Russia? Rustam Alexander has written two whole books about gay oppression in Russian history and is here to share what they learned in the archives, from diaries, and from doctors’ records. From the revolution to the ‘gay propaganda’ law of 2013, Rustam talks about the state and the history of Russian queerness. We discuss gay activism, the medicalisation of queerness and a very curious shift in legislation…

CW: homophobia, medicalisation of queerness, conversion therapy, aversion therapy

References:

Regulating Homosexuality in Soviet Russia, 1956-91 (Manchester UP, 2021)

Red Closet: The Hidden History of Gay Oppression in the USSR (Manchester UP, 2023)

Russia’s Gay Propaganda Law (2013)

Dan Healey’s Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia

Harry Whyte

Stalin

Tsarist Regime

Bolsheviks

Russian Revolution

GULAG

Doctor Goland

Dennis Altman’s Homosexual Oppression and Liberation


Questions you should be able to respond to after listening:
  1. Was homosexuality always criminalised in Russia?
  2. Which are some of Rustam’s main sources?
  3. Which major shifts in attitudes towards queerness does Rustam discuss?
  4. What does Rustam say about rural and urban spaces? Have you heard about or experienced this spatial dichotomy before?
  5. What does oppression mean? Have you ever experienced or witnessed oppression?
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Autore Lena Mattheis
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