Sexualities, media and politics in post-socialist countries

Series Name Media & Communication
Type Arts & Entertainment
When 11 Jul 2014, 11:00PM - 04:00PM
Venue Bankfield House, 132 New Walk, University of Leicester
Open To Public
Ticket Price Free
For Bookings Contact Dr G.Miazhevich ( )

The 2014 Eurovision victory by Conchita Wurst sparked a vigorous debate in the media across Europe and especially in post-socialist states. It ranged from explicitly homophobic remarks to conflation of the performance with nation-building and geopolitics (the pronounced anti-Western sentiment, the links to ongoing turmoil in Ukraine e.g. a Facebook statement that ‘a bearded woman stopped the war in Ukraine’,

This one-day workshop focuses on this intersection of sexual minorities, media and politics in post-socialist countries and offers a platform to reflect on these and wider issues related to the topic. The themes include (but are not limited to):

  • The representation of sexual minorities in various traditional (television) and new media (online forums of traditional newspapers, blogs,  twitter, etc.) in post-socialist space;
  • Homophobia, xenophobia and hate language in post-socialist media;
  • The West as seen by the post-Soviet countries:  the growing anti-western sentiment and its intersection with sexual minorities issues (e.g. Gayrope);
  • Western media representations of post-Soviet homophobia and Putin’s ‘traditional values’ agenda
  • How the post-socialist states project themselves onto the West: sexual minorities, media and popular culture (e.g. Eurovision 2014);
  • Sexual minorities, politics and the wider set of issues in post-Soviet space (e.g. the links to the decadent Europe and ‘post-Euromaidan’ Ukraine in Russian media sphere; Gay-Europe and the far-right in Russia and other post-socialist states, etc.);
  • Non-hegemonic sexuality, media and transnational diaspora with reference to post-socialist states;
  • Redefinition of gender contracts and norms in post-socialist states and the role of media;
  • Media discourse, national identity and sexual minorities in post-socialist states;
  • Media and identity politics in post-socialist states: strategies of sexual and gender minorities;
  • Media and the politics of sexual and gender citizenship in Eastern and Western Europe.

This workshop is organised by the Department of Media and Communications, University of Leicester. It open to academics, researchers and students interested in this topic and it is envisaged as a forum for discussion (rather than a formal event). The long-term aim is to use the workshop to create a network for future project opportunities.

The participation is free. However the places are limited. Please, contact Dr. G.Miazhevich ( to reserve your place by the 7th of July 2014.


One day workshop


Friday, 11th July, 11.00 – 16.00 pm


Seminar room 2.10

Bankfield House, 132 New Walk, University of Leicester





10.30               Tea and coffee

11.00              Introductions


11.10              Plenary and discussion


                        Professor Stephen Hutchings (University of Manchester)

                        Contesting Russia’s LGBT Rights Problem in a Media Converged

                        Environment: BBC World, RT and the Sochi Olympics


12.00              Lunch


12.45              Session 1: Sexualities, media and politics in post-socialist states


Richard Mole (UCL) Russian LGBT migrants in Berlin: between the ethno-national and the queer diasporas

Jon Binnie (Manchester Metropolitan University) Queer critical geopolitics beyond homonationalism? Conceptualising Western media representations of homophobia in post-socialist contexts

Paul Jordan (University of Cardiff) We are one? Discourse and politics in the Eurovision Song Contest


14.00              Coffee break


14.15              Session 2: Sexualities, media and politics in post-Soviet states


Francesca Stella (University of Glasgow) In the name of the nation: sexual nationalism and homophobia in Putin’s Russia

Galina Miazhevich (University of Leicester) Locating post-Soviet homosexuality at the intersection of its semi/official mediations and individual identification practices: the case of Belarus and Lithuania

Evgenia Ivanova (University of Oxford) My G-string on the Political Ring: Bodyfication of Citizenship in Political Calendars

15.30              Summary, reflections and future planning

16.00              End

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