Many efforts have been made over the past several years to diversify Eastern European and Eurasian studies. This new spotlight surfaces research that has been conducted by many scholars for much longer, highlighting their commitment to telling stories and honoring perspectives of diverse and minority communities. Their work reveals that while there is no unified queer experience in the region, there is often a one-size-fits all state response to the reality of queer lives in many nations within the region. How can a queer-studies focus advance conversations about decolonization in East European and Eurasian Studies? To address this question, Queer Focus will have six virtual panels featuring speakers from various disciplines and institutions. Panelists and participants will explore how gendered regimes were constitutive of Russo-centric relationships of power, defining the region and how we study it, as we collectively grapple with what it means to re-examine our current research, teaching, and institutional practices.
Panel 4 of the series will take a legal and political perspective on queer studies within the region.
Helene Thibault, Moderator, Associate Professor of Political Science, Nazarbayev University
Helene joined Nazarbayev University in Fall 2016 after completing a postdoctorate at the Chair for the Study of Religious Pluralism and the Center for International Studies at the Université de Montréal. Prior to her work at Nazarbayev University, she served as a lecturer at the Université de Montréal and the University of Ottawa. She holds a graduate degree from the Université libre de Bruxelles (2008). Helene specializes in ethnography, religion, secularism, and the Soviet legacy. Her research interests focus on the study of religious identities, especially the growing importance of Islam within Central Asian societies since independence. Her current projects also look at gender issues in Central Asia, more specifically, marriage and polygyny. An article on polygyny in Tajikistan has been published in Ethnic and Racial Studies and a research project on the topic of polygyny and tokals in Kazakhstan is currently under way.
Katalin Fábián, Professor of Government and Law at Lafayette College
Katalin Fábián is Professor of Government and Law at Lafayette College, Easton, PA. Her book Contemporary Women’s Movements in Hungary: Globalization, Democracy, and Gender Equality (Johns Hopkins University Press and Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2009) analyzes the emergence and political significance of women’s activism in Hungary. She contributed chapters to and edited Globalization: Perspectives from Central and Eastern Europe (Elsevier, 2007) and Domestic Violence in Postcommunist States: Local Activism, National Policies, and Global Forces (Indiana University Press, 2010). She edited, with Ioana Vlad, Democratization through Social Activism: Gender and Environmental Issues in Post-Communist Societies (Tritonic Romania 2015). With Elżbieta Korolczuk, she edited and wrote chapters that appeared in Rebellious Parents: Parents’ Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia (Indiana University Press 2017). Her most recent publication, The Routledge Handbook of Gender in Central-Eastern Europe and Eurasia (2021), edited with Janet Elise Johnson and Mara Lazda, was awarded the 2022 Heldt Prize for best book in Slavic, East European and Eurasian Women's and Gender Studies. She is currently working on a manuscript analyzing the emergence and policy achievements of the midwifery movement in Central Europe.
Marianna Muravyeva, Professor of Law, Aleksanteri Institute - Finnish Centre for Russian and East European Studies
Marianna Muravyeva is a Professor of Law at the Aleksanteri Institute - Finnish Centre for Russian and East European Studies. She has worked as a researcher, trainer and professor for academic and non-academic agencies and projects, including the UN (UNDP program in Central Asia), NGOs (including women’s shelters in St. Petersburg) and a number of universities in Russia, Finland, the US and the UK. Her research is interdisciplinary, bringing together history, social sciences and law to examine long-term trends and patterns in social development with a special focus on normativity, gender and violence. Some of her most recent projects focus on human rights of women and austerity, conservative jurisprudence, violence against women, and family violence (violence against parents and domestic violence). She co-chairs the Women and Gender Network of the European Social Sciences History Conference and is a founding member of the Russian Association of Women’s Historians (RAIZhI).
Piro Rexhepi, Research Fellow, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London
Piro Rexhepi is a research fellow at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at UCL. He is the author of White Enclosures: Racial Capitalism and Coloniality along the Balkan Route (Duke University Press, 2023).
Jennifer Suchland, Associate Professor, Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, The Ohio State University
Jennifer's research focuses on how human rights categories emerge and are contested within relations of geopolitical power, colonial relations, and gendered, sexual, and racial formations. In particular, she focuses on labor exploitation, forced labor, and human trafficking and how the recognition of harm, such as gender and sex-based violence, can collude with systems of state and colonial violence. She works within the transnational contexts of Russia, East Europe, and the U.S. Her first book, Economies of Violence: Transnational Feminism, Postsocialism, and the Politics of Sex Trafficking (2015) is an analysis of the resurgence of global anti-trafficking discourse at the end of the Cold War. Her current work includes a book manuscript on the anti-trafficking moniker "modern day slavery" and essays on sexuality and nationalism in Russia. She is also involved in several collaborations focused on public education and social justice.
Additional financial support has been provided by:
Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, University of Kansas
Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, University of Michigan
Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill
Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, Indiana University, Bloomington
Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies, Arizona State University
Robert F. Byrnes Russian and East European Institute, Indiana University, Bloomington
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