LGBTQ in a Time of War: The Queer History of the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict

While President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine may seem to have little relevance to LGBTQ politics, in Putin’s own statements and decrees he has argued that one aim of the February 2022 invasion was to prevent the spread to Russia and its neighbours of ‘Western’ forms of tolerance for LGBTQ ways of life. Anti-LGBTQ campaigns in the Russian parliament and media have amplified the anti-Western sentiment that drives public support for the war against Ukrainian independence.

The Kremlin’s official homophobia has evolved over two decades, mirroring the shape-shifting of Putin’s image and methods of rule. This lecture will explore how Putin’s use of state-backed homophobia has developed under his leadership. What are the historic roots of this homophobia which resonate with many Russian voters?

Speaker information - Professor Dan Healey

Dan Healey is Emeritus Professor of Modern Russian History at the University of Oxford. He is a historian of sexualities and genders in modern Russia and the Soviet Union. His publications include Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi, (Bloomsbury, 2017), and the first full-length history of homosexuality in Russia, Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia: The Regulation of Sexual and Gender Dissent (University of Chicago Press, 2001). He continues to study the development of LGBTQ histories and communities in the non-Russian republics of the former Soviet Union, and is currently writing a book about medicine in the Stalinist Gulag.

Stonewall Lecture

Since 2012 the annual Southampton Stonewall Lecture has explored the rich heritage that is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) history. The lecture has been given by a range of prestigious international speakers including Professors George Chauncey, Laura Doan, Dagmar Herzog, Matt Cook, and Howard Chiang. Each lecture has offered an academic approach but one also geared to a broader public audience. A key purpose is to educate contemporary audiences, academic and public, about the past while also promoting the University of Southampton’s commitment to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion. Through a greater understanding of discrimination and tolerance through the centuries, we can help to promote tolerance and inclusivity in contemporary British society.

Event information

This will be a hybrid event. Attendees can book to attend in-person at the Avenue Campus, University of Southampton, or select a ticket to join the talk online. For those attending in person, there will be refreshments available before the talk begins, with a short reception afterwards.

Book here

Further details including the Lecture Theatre location and joining instructions will be updated nearer the time.

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