Disability and Queer Sexuality in Russia

Professor Alexander Kondakov
A late addition to our calendar!  Next Thursday, Professor Alexander Kondakov of the European University at St. Petersburg will be a special guest in David Mitchell’s Literature of the Americas class.  This event is open to the public.  Thursday, November 17, 12:45-2 PM in Phillips Hall B156. 
Disability and Queer-Sexuality in Russia
Public expression of LGBTIQ themes in Russia is dangerous and often persecuted through official channels. At the same time, many adults with disabilities are instutionalized, or continue to live in crowded family apartments, making experiences of disabled sexuality – regardless of orientation – especially suppressed. Urban environments are generally hostile to people with disabilities, but are also aggressive to public expressions of LGBTQ experiences. This empirical study observes that there is a certain gap in our knowledge about simultaneous experience of disability and stigmatized sexuality: how do these two arenas shape the life experiences, social realities, and self-perception of Russians with the intersection of queer/disabled identities? Building on existing sociocultural research with similar populations in other global settings, the study was conducted in summer 2016 to bridge this gap. It is a collection of life histories of people living at the intersection of LGBTIQ experience and disability. Preliminary findings allow us to learn what specific notions trouble the everyday lives of LGBTIQ with disabilities in Russia. This paper’s major task is to give voice to the people with this experience, to tell their stories by connecting them to  larger sociological and anthropological knowledge.

Alexander Kondakov is Assistant Professor at the European University at St. Petesburg. In 2011 he got his MA in the sociology of law from the International Institute for the Sociology of Law (Spain), in 2016 he graduated from a PhD-program in Department of Sociology of St. Petersburg University. From 2010 Alexander works as researcher for the Centre of Independent Social Research, and from 2014 as deputy Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Social Policy Studies (HSE, Moscow). He the author of several international publications on human rights for LGBT in Russia. His current research interests include sociology of human rights, sexual citizenship and queer sexualities.

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