Russia as the Savior of European Civilization







Russia as the Savior of European Civilization: Gender and the Geopolitics of Traditional Values

The 2017 Gensler Family Symposium presents a talk by Professor Kevin Moss, Department of Russian and The Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies.  In this talk, Professor Moss will touch on how several parts of Europe are facing new waves of resistance to a so-called ‘gender ideology’ or ‘gender theory’ after decades of steady progress in terms of gender and sexual rights.  Opposition to progressive gender equality is manifested in challenges to marriage equality, abortion, reproductive technologies, gender mainstreaming, sex education, sexual liberalism, transgender rights, antidiscrimation policies, and even to the notion of gender itself.  In the European Union anti-gender mobilizations are aimed at changing secular state policies, but also target gender studies programs at universities.  In Russia the picture is very different, since the “traditional values” endorsed by those who oppose gender equality, LGBT rights, abortion and reproductive rights, and sex education are fully and openly embraced by the state, by the Russian Orthodox Church, and even by state universities and the Russian Academy of Sciences.  Especially since Putin’s return in 2012, traditional values have become the national idea of Russia.  Thus the anti-gender position is at the heart of Russia’s self-identification in opposition to the decadent West, as well as at the heart of Russia’s geopolitical strategy to unite like-minded traditionalist forces behind Russia.

Please join us for this talk on Monday, April 10th in Robert A. Jones House Conference Room at 4:30 p.m.

Kevin Moss graduated from Amherst College in 1977 and received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1984, with a dissertation on Olga Freidenberg, who headed the Classics Department at Leningrad University. His translation of Freidenberg’s Image and Concept: Mythopoetic Roots of Literature was published in 1997. Interest in Mikhail Bulgakov led to several publications and a website devoted to Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita.

Since the early ‘90s he has studied gay & lesbian culture in Russia and Eastern Europe, and in 1997 he edited the first anthology of gay writing from Russia, Out of the Blue: Russia’s Hidden Gay Literature (Gay Sunshine Press). His translations of the work of Evgeny Kharitonov have appeared in several anthologies and journals. Recent publications focus on queer characters in films from former Yugoslavia.