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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Shocking Soviet Century

  • Author(s): Kayiatos, Anastasia
  • et al.

My paper today will consider the case of Russia in the early 1990s in order to disentangle a less local phenomenon that Judith Halberstam has called the “insidious linking of perverse modernity and the perverse body in certain instantiations of globalized thinking.”1 How do so-called “unhealthy” fiscal economies give rise to “unhealthy” economies of desire; and concomitantly, in Jacqui Alexander’s words, how do “enemy-production and sexual perversity go hand in hand”?2 In the ensuing talk, I envision the communist and the queer as vitally and inextricably co-implicated in the formation of twentieth-century Western modernity--conditioning its possibility even as they are forcibly excluded from participating in it; compelled to collude in the negative production of a heteronormative citizen and nation.

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