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 1 of the series will provide a state of the field of queer studies within Eurasia and Eastern Europe.
Emily Channell-Justice, Moderator, Director, Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program
Emily Channell-Justice is the Director of the Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program at the Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University. She is a sociocultural anthropologist who has been doing research in Ukraine since 2012. She has pursued research on political activism and social movements among students and feminists during the 2013-2014 Euromaidan mobilizations. Her ethnography Without the State: Self-Organization and Political Activism in Ukraine is forthcoming, and her edited volume, Decolonizing Queer Experience: LGBT+ Narratives from Eastern Europe and Eurasia (Lexington Books) was published in 2020. She has published academic articles in several journals, including History and Anthropology, Revolutionary Russia, and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. She received her PhD from The Graduate Center, City University of New York, in September 2016, and she was a Havighurst Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of International Studies at Miami University, Ohio from 2016-2019.
Jasmina Tumbas, Associate Professor, Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Buffalo
Jasmina Tumbas (PhD, Art History, Duke University) is an Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History & Performance Studies in the Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University at Buffalo. She is the author of “I Am Jugoslovenka!” Feminist Performance Politics during & after Yugoslav Socialism (Manchester University Press, 2022), which won the 2023 Barbara Jelavich Book Prize. Her current book project, Queer and Feminist Yugoslav Diaspora: Art of Resistance Beyond Nationhood, is the recipient of the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. Tumbas serves as a volume editor for the multivolume project Cultural History of the Avant-Garde in Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe (Brill) and is also co-editing the anthology, Contemporary Art in the Post-Yugoslav Space: Case Studies in Hauntology (Routledge). Her research has appeared in ArtMargins, Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies, Art Monthly, Art in America, ASAP Journal, and Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte.
Vladislav Beronja, Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Vlad Beronja is an Assistant Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He grew up in Bosnia and Croatia before immigrating to the U.S. in 1997, at age thirteen. He holds a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages & Literatures and a B.A. in Comparative Literature, both from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His academic interests encompass a variety of academic disciplines and cultural forms, ranging from contemporary comics and popular music to postmodern metafiction, psychoanalytical approaches to trauma, and Marxist aesthetics. He is a co-editor of a volume Post-Yugoslav Constellations: Archive, Memory, and Trauma in Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian Literature and Culture (2016) and has published articles, book reviews, and translations in several journals, including The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, Slavic and East European Journal, InTranslation, and The Journal of Croatian Studies. His current book project, Archival Fictions: Cultural Memory, Literary Imagination, and the Yugoslav Wars, examines how post-Yugoslav writers and artists critically deploy the archive as a governing metaphor for the loss and preservation of cultural memory after the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe.
Tamar Shirinian, Assistant Professor, The University of Tennessee
Tamar Shirinian is a cultural anthropologist focusing on vast areas of queer theory and studies, transnational feminisms, political economy, the processes of post-socialism, psychoanalysis, and, more recently, medical and psychological anthropology.
Her current research takes up questions of access and equity in mental healthcare in the United States. This work is propelled by questions around differential access to structures of care (i.e., health insurance, medical and psychological resources), how those structures operate, and how various actors within them negotiate boundaries.
Simone Bellezza, Assistant Professor of Modern History, Department of Social Sciences of the University of Naples “Federico II.”
Simone Attilio Bellezza is Assistant Professor of Modern History at the Department of Social Sciences of the University of Naples “Federico II.” The fil rouge of his work is the study of national belonging and its relationship with other kinds of loyalty (social, political, cultural, and religious). He is currently investigating, through the study of the Ukrainian case, the importance of the relationship between diaspora communities and their original homeland in the emergence of the human rights movement during the Cold War. His book The Shore of Expectations: A Study on the Culture of the Ukrainian Shistdesiatnyky is forthcoming from the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press.
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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