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    Postsocialist Revolutions of Intimacy: Sexuality, Rights and Backlash

    Workshop 1-2 October 2018 Center for Baltic and East European Studies, Södertörn University and the Nordic Museum (Stockholm)

    Workshop 1-2 October 2018

    After the break-up of the Soviet Union, political and economic reforms in Russia and the post-Soviet successor states led to dramatic changes in social institutions, personal relationships, families and intimacies. One such change was the so called “sexual revolution” of the 1990s. The political space, which had widely been understood as one where, to use a popular catchphrase, “there is no sex”, soon transformed into a quite different one: popular culture representations of sex and desire became a part of the mediatized everyday, talk-shows openly discussed hetero and homosexual stories, commercial sex was openly advertised and NGOs defending sexual minority rights became publicly visible. The speed and depth of this change has parallels to – but also important differences with - the 1968 revolution in the “West”, where new intimacies became part of a broader social protest movement. In Sweden, the 1968 movement combined aspirations for a deepening of democracy, feminist, anti-war and solidarity activism, and paved the way for the lesbian and gay rights movements of the 1970s.
    However, during the last years the calls to “strengthen morality” and repressive legislations against LGBTQ rights and abortion in many countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia have challenged the results of the “sexual revolutions” of the 1990s. Why was it so easy to move the public opinion “back”? How was it connected to the social and political actors behind the changes? Are such developments “against the sexual revolution” also visible in Sweden and other West-European countries?
    These questions are particularly interesting to discuss in 2018, the year that marks the 50 years anniversary of the 1968 sexual revolution. The conference opens an opportunity to discuss the questions above across countries and disciplines. The preparatory stage of the conference includes also a round-table on “Post-Soviet ‘Sexual Revolution’ – History and Present” in Moscow on 30 March 2018 (in cooperation with Gorbachev-Fundation, Olga Zdravomyslova).
    The workshop aims are to explore the processes of overcoming, transforming and negotiating the Communist/Soviet sexuality regimes in Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet space in terms of both similarities and differences. How is the memory of these changes preserved in the context of new repressive sexuality regimes? To what extent is it possible to speak about sexual revolution(s) as a part of broader emancipatory social transformations in the space of postsocialism? What are the current developments with respect to sexuality in the Baltic States, Russia, Eurasia and Eastern Europe?
    Confirmed key-note speakers:
    Lena Lennerhed, professor in History of Ideas at the Department for History and Contemporary Studies, Södertörn University. Her research focuses on sexual liberalism, sex reform movements and abortion in 20th century Sweden.

    Alexander Kondakov, PhD in Sociology, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Sociology at the European University at St. Petersburg and researcher at the Centre for Independent Social Research in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is also the deputy editor-in-chief for the Journal of Social Policy Studies published by the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Kondakov’s work has been primarily focused on law and sexuality studies, more specifically on queer sexualities in Russia.

    The two-days workshop at Södertörn University and the Nordic museum is an opportunity for creating networks of researchers dealing with issues of sexuality and intimacy in the historical, cultural and comparative perspective with focus on post Cold War changes in the post-Soviet space and Eastern Europe.
    We plan to publish selected conference presentations.

    Workshop´s abstracts


    Tid och plats

    När: mã¥ndag 1 oktober kl. 08:00 - tisdag 2 oktober kl. 17:00

    Vad: konferens

    Var: MA796 (7th floor in the main building)

    Arrangeras av: Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES)