CfP: Queering Modernization in Eastern Europe: Deviant Sexualities, Gender Regimes, and the Limits of State Control (06/2023, Vienna); by: 28.02.2023

Research Platform „Transformations and Eastern Europe“ at the Univ. of Vienna; Rasa Navickaite (Web)

Time: 29.-30.06.2023
Venue: University of Vienna
Proposals due: 28.02.2023

This two-day workshop invites doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers to reflect on the impact that the modernization of states and societies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) had on the construction of sexual and gender identities and experiences, as well as the notion of sexual deviance. While the 20th century was marked by increasingly modern (secular, science-based, medicalized, etc.) conception of sexuality across Europe, this new understanding interacted in complex ways with traditional and religious notions of morality and sin. Furthermore, the 20th century in CEE was marked by multiple regime and ideological changes, which also impacted the ways people lived and understood their personal lives, gender identities, and sexual experiences. Considering the limitations of the Foucauldian narrative of the history of sexuality in the West, the workshop invites participants to reflect on the methodological and theoretical tools that are needed to interrogate the continuity and change of sexual discourses and practices in CEE.
In particular, the workshop invites participants to reflect: Can we see gender as one of the central categories of analysis in understanding the construction of hetero- and cis- normativity and morality, even in societies which prided themselves on achieving gender equality? How do we approach the categories of class and race in relation to sexuality, when talking about CEE region, which experienced modernity largely in its state-socialist form and had a peripheral role in the global history of colonialism and imperial expansion? How did the modernizing institutions of medicine, science, law, police, and other state and non-state actors participate in creating some subject positions as socially acceptable, while others as deviant in CEE countries? In what ways did queer people experience, pursue, and express their desires in modernizing societies, and how can we research, understand, and commemorate them from a contemporary perspective? What can we learn about modern CEE societies and politics when applying queer and feminist theoretical instruments?Situated within the vibrant field of historical research into non-normative sexualities and genders in CEE, this workshop invites doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers to discuss the newest findings regarding the history of state regulation of deviant sexualities as well as the traces of queer creativity and resistance. It aims to create a platform for a theoretically and conceptually oriented discussion and will result in a publication of a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal.

Confirmed speakers and discussants:

  • Anna Hájková, Ass. Professor of Modern Continental European History, Univ. of Warwick
  • Dietlind Hüchtker, Professor of Historical Transregional Studies, Univ. of Vienna
  • Claudia Kraft, Professor of Contemporary History, Univ. of Vienna
  • Katharina Wiedlack, Ass. Professor for Anglophone Cultural Studies, Univ. of Vienna
  • Łukasz Szulc, Senior Lecturer in Digital Media and Culture, Univ. of Manchester

Applicants are asked to submit an abstract (250-300 words) and biographical blurb (max. 100 words) by 28 February 2023. Notifications of acceptance/rejection will be sent out in March. Accepted participants will be asked to send in a draft paper (max. 7000 words) by 1 June 2023 and prepare a 15-minute presentation. The costs of travel and accommodation will be covered according to need.

Abstract submission and inquiries:


Source: HSozuKult