UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


SEES0111 Sexuality and Society in Russia and Eastern Europe

UCL Credit Value: 15

ECTS Value: 7.5

Term 2

Module Coordinator: Dr Richard Mole
Weekly Contact Hours: 2.0 
Prerequisites: None

Summative Assessment

3000 word coursework (100%)

Formative Assessment

Feedback on presentation. 

Module Outline

The course seeks to analyse the social construction of non-heteronormative sexualities in Russia and Eastern Europe throughout various periods of the region’s history – from the medieval era to the present day. It adopts an interdisciplinary approach, examining explanatory and normative literature from sociology, social psychology, history and politics. The course will begin with two sessions examining different approaches to the study of sexualities, analysing in particular the psychoanalytic theory of Freud, the discourse theory of Foucault and the queer theories of Butler et al. We will examine a range of influences on constructions of sexuality (including religious doctrine, nationalism, political ideology and medicine, etc.) to better understand the lived experiences of sexual minorities and social attitudes towards non-heteronormative sexualities in the specific socio-political, cultural and historic contexts of Russia and Eastern Europe. With reference to the contemporary period we will discuss homophobia, homonationalism, queer migration and diaspora, AIDS/HIV and the social context of sex, social activism and LGBT rights in the broader European context.

Indicative Texts

  • Healey, D. (2001) Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia. London: University of Chicago Press
  • Kulpa, R. and Mizielinska, J. (ads) De-Centring Western Sexualities. Central and East European Perspectives. Farnham: Ashgate
  • Richardson, N, Smith, C. and Werdnly, A. (2013) Studying Sexualities. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Please note: This outline is accurate at the time of publication. Minor amendments may be made prior to the start of the academic year.