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Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi by Dan Healey

Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi by Dan Healey


Examining nine 'case histories' that reveal the origins and evolution of homophobic attitudes in modern Russia, Dan Healey asserts that the nation's contemporary homophobia can be traced back to the particular experience of revolution, political terror and war its people endured after 1917.

The book explores the roots of homophobia in the Gulag, the rise of a visible queer presence in Soviet cities after Stalin, and the political battles since 1991 over whether queer Russians can be valued citizens. Healey also reflects on the problems of 'memorylessness' for Russia's LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) movement more broadly and the obstacles it faces in trying to write its own history. The book makes use of little-known source material - much of it untranslated archival documentation - to explore how Russians have viewed same-sex love and gender transgression since the mid-20th century.

Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi provides a compelling background to the culture wars over the status of LGBT citizens in Russia today, whilst serving as a key text for all students of modern Russia.


List of Illustrations
Introduction: 2013 – Russia's Year of Political Homophobia
Part I - Homophobia in Russia after 1945
1. Forging Gulag Sexualities: Penal Homosexuality and the Reform of the Gulag after Stalin
2. Comrades, Queers and 'Oddballs': Sodomy, Masculinity and Gendered Violence in the Leningrad Province of the 1950s
3. The Diary of Soviet Singer Vadim Kozin: Reading Queer Subjectivity in 1950s Russia
Part II - Queer Visibility and 'Traditional Sexual Relations'
4. From Stalinist Pariahs to Subjects of 'Managed Democracy': Queers in Moscow 1945 to the Present
5. Active, Passive and Russian: The National Idea in Gay Men's Pornography
6. 'Let Them Move to France!': Public Homophobia and 'Traditional' Sexuality in the Early Putin Years
Part III - Writing and Remembering Russia's Queer Past
7. Stalinist Homophobia and the 'Stunted Archive': Challenges to Writing the History of Gay Men's Persecution in the USSR
8. “Non-Traditional” Lives: The Dilemmas of Queering Russian Biography
9. On the Boulevards of Magadan: Historical Time, Geopolitics and Queer Memory in Homophobic Russia
Selected Further Reading




“A thorough, impeccably researched portrait of persecution.” –  Attitude


  • Details

    Imprint: Bloomsbury

    Publication Date: 14 December 2017

    ISBN: 9781350000797

    Pages: 312

    Format: Paperback

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