Decolonizing Queer Experience: New Research from Ukraine and Beyond


Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 12:00pm to 1:30pm



Attendees will receive a discount code to purchase the book at 30% off the original price.


  • Emily Channell-Justice, Director, Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program, Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University
  • Vitaly Chernetsky, Associate Professor, Slavic Languages & Literatures, University of Kansas
  • Roman Leksikov, Analyst, Ukrainian Center for Law and Crime Research 
  • Tamar Shirinian, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Watch live on YouTube

Gay and lesbian rights activists demonstrate as participants of the annual Gay Pride parade wave from a float in Kyiv, Ukraine, June 18, 2017 (AP via VOA)


Decolonizing Queer Experience: LGBT+ Narratives from Eastern Europe and Eurasia brings together new research that moves beyond discourses of oppression and repression of LGBT+ people in the post-Soviet world. The contributions to the volume explore the resistance and resilience of LGBT+ communities and highlight the diversity of voices within the LGBT+ experience. Its chapters represent the broad geography of the post-Soviet world, and the authors draw from various ethnographic, historical, and artistic methods of analysis to reframe what the LGBT+ experience means in the region.
This panel focuses on contributions from researchers working in Ukraine. Their research shows that, while the issue of repression is an essential frame through which to understand LGBT+ experiences, many are pushing back against a deeply instilled homophobia that is assumed to be unchanging in Ukraine. Using the lens of “decolonizing,” the panelists will explore why this theoretical framework is useful for a new understanding of LGBT+ experiences in the region. They will situate the present volume within existing queer theory and LGBT+ research in the region, and they will address current trends in research related to LGBT+ topics and point to some areas for future research.

Read a Q&A about the book

About the Participants

Emily Channell-JusticeEmily Channell-Justice is the Director of the Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program at Harvard's Ukrainian Research Institute. 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.

Vitaly ChernetskyVitaly Chernetsky is an Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures at the University of Kansas. A native of Odessa, Ukraine, Chernetsky completed his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to the University of Kansas, he taught at Columbia University and at Miami University in Ohio. His research interests include Russian literature and culture (film, theatre, visual arts); Ukrainian literature and culture; East and Central European literatures and cultures; Central Asian literatures and cultures; intellectual history of Russia and Ukraine; cultural aspects of globalization; postmodernism/postmodernity; Modernism/modernity; modernist and postmodernist writing worldwide; postcolonial theory and postcolonial writing; identity and community; diasporic cultures; nationalism and ethnicity; literary and cultural theory; cultural studies; film and film theory; feminist theory; gender studies; LGBT studies; and language pedagogy. He is a past president of the American Association for Ukrainian Studies (2009-2018) and the current Vice President and Scholarly Secretary of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in the US. Chernetsky wrote the Preface to Decolonizing Queer Experience.

Roman LeksikovRoman Leksikov is an early-stage researcher who works on the intersection of criminology and gender and sexuality studies. Originally from Ukraine, he finished his undergraduate studies at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and pursued a Master's degree at the University of Alberta (Canada). He is currently working as an analyst for the Ukrainian Center for Law and Crime Research and as an intervention worker in Montréal, Québec. 


Tamar ShirinianTamar Shirinian is a Postdoctoral Teaching Associate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Department of Anthropology. She received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology, with a Certificate in Feminist Studies, from Duke University in 2016. Her work is invested in understanding the ways in which political economy and geopolitics are in intimate relation and connection to the politics of gender, sexuality, and kinship. She has conducted ethnographic research amongst queer and feminist activists as well as right-wing anti-homosexual activists in the postsocialist Republic of Armenia and has published this research in journals such as American Ethnologist, PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, and Gender, Place & Culture, amongst other venues. She co-wrote the introduction and contributed the chapter "Querying Identity: Misrecognition as Performance Refusal in Armenian LGTB Advocacy" in Decolonizing Queer Experience.


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