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CfP: Quiet Revolution? Alternative sexualities in Europe and the post-Soviet region


19 September 2019, Cardiff University, UK

activists Red Square.jpg

In light of the rising rhetoric of ‘traditional values’ in parts of Western and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, this one-day event calls for an examination of what this conservative turn and the rise of illiberal political regimes imply for the voices of marginalised and alternative sexualities* and their representations in the former Eastern bloc and beyond.  

The symposium asks how analyses of historical legacies, cultural trends and geographical location might help us to understand and re/conceptualise alternative sexualities in the post-Soviet region and Europe at present, that is, how the way that queerness is coded responds to shifting sociopolitical, cultural and legal landscapes.  The goal of the event is to bring together different strands of interdisciplinary research on sexuality and contribute to a dialogue between communities that have developed around them across the post-Soviet region and Europe.


We welcome submissions addressing the following areas:


  • Sexualities, geo-temporality and shifting dynamics: sexualities and locality; sexual/intimate citizenship and geo-temporality; sexuality and geopolitics; ‘delayed’ (Borenstein, 2008) sexual revolutions in post-Soviet region; sexualities and class; sexualities and race; sexualities, mobilities and migration; sexualities, cultures and shifting moral regimes; regional appropriations of mainstream transnational sexualities (e.g. ‘global gay’).

  • Sexualities and the body: hetero- and homonormativity; positionality, queerness and non-binarity; trans-sexuality, transgender; a/sexual and other practices; sexuality, body politics and citizenship; LGBT and the missing T (transgender); LGBTQ or Q? How is queerness appropriated and domesticated in post-communist Europe?

  • Sexualities, popular culture and the media: heterosexism, mediated homophobia, misrecognitions and sensationalism; convergent media and multifaceted representations; social media and violence (trolling, etc.); performativity; visual representations of the body, over/sexualised masculinities and femininities; excessive aesthetics and sexualities, camp, Estrada; comedy and sexualities, etc.

  • Sexualities, media and generations: sexuality, generational differences and convergent media; learning about sexualities (schools, other educational institutions, social media); representations of sexualities and different age groups.

  • Mediated sexualities and in/exclusion: absences, omissions and/or visibility of sexual minorities. Reconsidering visibility in social media and popular culture: Does mediation of sexual minorities amplify diversity, foster inclusion or have an adverse effects and lead to compartmentalisation and intensifies exclusion? Commodification of mediated queerness.

  • Sexuality and law:  the law, bodies and sexualities; Russian ‘Gay propaganda law’ of 2013 and variations; human rights in Russia and Europe; violence towards LGBTQ+ persons and communities.

  • Ethics & methodologies: frameworks and epistemologies; Western-centrism; decolonising movements; activism and academia; emotional and methodological challenges of researching alternative sexualities.



We welcome submissions from early career scholars, established academics, as well as activists and practitioners. Abstracts should be submitted by Friday, 1st of March 2019.


Other forms of participation (posters, creative projects, film screenings, etc.) should be discussed in advance with the Organising Team. You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Monday, 15th April 2019. When sending your abstract, please indicate whether you would like your paper to be considered for publication in an edited volume (Routledge).

Please submit a short bio, a 300-words abstract and up to 7 keywords to:]

We are happy to provide visa invitation letters and other supporting documentation to enable participation.



Galina Miazhevich, Cardiff University (PI) & Maria Brock, Cardiff University

This symposium is informed and supported by an AHRC funded project ‘A Quiet Revolution? Discursive representations of non-heteronormative sexuality in Russia’ (2018-2020)


If travelling from outside the UK via London, Cardiff is an easy 2-hour train journey from Paddington station. The conference participants can benefit from a discounted rate at Jury’s Inn hotel, Cardiff (booking code will be provided by the organisers). Other accommodation options and recommendations to be made available.


*The phrase “alternative sexuality” is purposefully broad, and inclusive of non-conforming gender identifications and sexual orientations and an intersectionality of gender and sexual expressions.

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