© 2009

Other Russias

Homosexuality and the Crisis of Post-Soviet Identity

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Brian James Baer
    Pages 1-17
  3. Brian James Baer
    Pages 19-41
  4. Brian James Baer
    Pages 43-69
  5. Brian James Baer
    Pages 71-89
  6. Brian James Baer
    Pages 91-119
  7. Brian James Baer
    Pages 121-151
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 153-215

About this book


This book examines the unprecedented explosion of homosexual discourse in post-Soviet Russia and details how homosexuality has come to signify a surprising and often contradictory array of uniquely post-Soviet concerns.


aesthetics crisis identity post-soviet Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)

About the authors

BRIAN JAMES BAER is Associate Professor of Russian Language, Literature, and Translation Studies at Kent State University, USA.

Bibliographic information


Baer s immensely readable volume adds greatly to the scholarship on post-Soviet culture as well as gender and sexuality studies; his original and incisive analysis uncovers the ways in which discussions about (Russian) homosexuality signify the Russian populace s eclectic attempts to construct a post-Soviet identity and aesthetic. - The Russian Review " Other Russias is a fascinating study of the significance of homosexuality in post-Soviet Russian culture . . .In this first major study of homosexuality in Russian culture, Baer deftly negotiates the complexity of cross-cultural studies of homosexuality, avoiding the pitfalls of projections onto an Orientalized other and allowing Russian cultural motifs to speak on their own terms and in their own language." - Kevin Moss, Professor of Russian, Middlebury College and editor of Out of the Blue: Russia s Hidden Gay Literature ."With restless curiosity, Baer entertains as he tells us what homosexuality means in contemporary Russian culture. Other Russias explores not only what a globalizing Western eye has made of queerness in Moscow (and beyond), but what Russians themselves have made of the sexual other in their midst. Baer s intelligent readings of post-Soviet high- and low-brow literature and films show how homosexuality has become an essential element in fictions of national collapse, a talisman of gender identities and literary conventions in flux. Baer s chapter on the comeback - after 74 years in the Soviet close - of Russia s spiritual homosexual restores a long-lost cultural type to the map of European culture. This book will be essential reading for all queer studies enthusiasts." - Dan Healey, Swansea University and author of Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia "Through a close reading of post-Soviet literature and film, Baer illuminates the complexities of changing assumptions about homosexuality in contemporary Russia. A fascinating illustration of the ways in which historical and cultural specificities create new ways of understanding sexuality, and a warning against too easy assumptions about sexual freedoms in twenty first century Russia." - Dennis Altman, Professor and Convenor of Politics, La Trobe University and author of Global Sex and Homosexual "Baer has written a groundbreaking study of the discourse surrounding homosexuality as a reflection of Russian post-Soviet identity from the late 1980s through the Putin presidency. Effectively deploying historical and geographical frameworks, the author juxtaposes inherently Russian associations to the notion of homosexuality as a Western import that threatens Russian male identity. Essential" - CHOICE