General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Queer Art & Politics: Central And Eastern European Perspectives (Winter Semester)
Language English
Module lecturer prof. UAM dr hab. Paweł Leszkowicz
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position professor
Faculty Faculty of Arts Studies
Semester 2021/2022 (winter)
Duration 30
USOS code 05-QPEEP-histszt


Module aim (aims)

The aim of this course is to explore contemporary queer art, visual culture and politics in Eastern Europe. We will examine queer art and LGBTQ activism through the work of individual artists and organizations, selected art projects, visibility campaigns and themed exhibitions. The differing and volatile status of queer rights in many European countries demands that we take a comparative approach, especially analysing the challenging situations in Poland and Russia. The legal anti-discriminatory provisions of the EU will also be covered to create a background for the LGBTQ debates, struggles, conflicts and creative expressions.The course focuses on the period after 1989, following the difficult transition to democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. However we will also consider some historical aspects of sexual and artistic regulations under Communism. While examining the histories, politics and aesthetics of queer rights and art, we will debate the functions of art and visual culture as a platform for LGBTQ identities, as well as an agency for democracy.The course combines the contemporary Eastern European history of sexuality and art, concentrating on questions of freedom of expression, human rights, the representation of desire and love, censorship and repression, and the intersection of culture and the politics of emancipation. It has an interdisciplinary character, drawing on research in art history, queer studies, cultural studies, European studies, history, political philosophy, sociology and law, and is designed for students from all these disciplines.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)


Week 1 What is Queer Art? Week 2 Major Contemporary Queer Artists Week 3 The Sexual Politics of the European Union Week 4 Homosexuality in the Eastern BlockWeek 5 LGBTQ Visibility Campaigns Week 6 Queer ExhibitionsWeek 7 A History of Queer Rights in PolandWeek 8 A History of Queer Art in Poland IWeek 9 A History of Queer Art in Poland II Week 10 Homosexuality and Art in the Soviet UnionWeek 11 Contemporary Queer Struggles in RussiaWeek 12 Queer Art and Censorship in Russia Week 13 Contemporary Queer Artists in Central Eastern Europe IWeek 14 Contemporary Queer Artists in Central Eastern Europe II Week 15 LGBTQ Activism and Lives in Eastern Europe

Reading list

Beger, Nico J., Tensions in the Struggle for Sexual Minority Rights in Europe. Que(e)rying Political Practices (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2004) Cooper, Emmanuel, The Sexual Perspective. Homosexuality and Art in the Last 100 Years in the West (London, New York: Routledge, 1994) Dziewanska Marta, Degot Ekaterina, Budraitskis Ilya (ed.), Post-Post-Soviet? Art, Politics & Society in Russia at the Turn of the Decade (Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, 2013) Essing Laurie, Queer in Russia: A Story of Sex, Self, and the Other, (Duke University Press Books 1999) Horne, Peter and Lewis Reina (ed.), Outlooks. Lesbian and Gay Sexualities and Visual Cultures (London, New York: Routledge,1996)Karlinsky Simon, “Russia’s Gay Literature and Culture: The Impact of the October Revolution”, in: Hidden From History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past (New York: Penguin, 1990). Kitliński, Tomasz, Dream? Democracy! A Philosophy of Horror, Hope & Hospitality in Art & Action, (Lublin: Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Press 2014) Kulpa, Robert and Joanna Mizielinska (ed.), De-Centring Western Sexualities Central and Eastern European Perspectives (London: Ashgate, 2011)Kuhar, Roman and Takacs, Judit (ed.), Beyond the Pink Curtain. Everyday Life of LGBT People in Eastern Europe (Ljubljana: Peace Institute, 2007) Leszkowicz, Pawel, Ars Homo Erotica, exhibition catalogue Warsaw’s National Museum (Warsaw: National Museum 2010) Leszkowicz, Pawel, Art Pride. Gay Art from Poland (Warsaw:, 2010)Leszkowicz, Pawel, Love is Love. Art as LGBTQ Activism –from Britain to Belarus ( Lublin: Labirynt Gallery, 2011) Nussbaum, Martha C., Sex and Social Justice, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)Nussbaum, Martha C., From Disgust to Humanity. Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)Pejic, Bojana (ed.) , Gender Check: A Reader. Art and Theory in Eastern Europe (Cologne: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig, 2011) Pejic, Bojana (ed.), Gender Check. Feminity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe: A Catalogue, exhibition catalogue MUMOK Vienna (Cologne: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig, 2009)Reed, Christopher, Art and Homosexuality. A History of Ideas ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 1-9. Summers, Claude J. (ed.), The Queer Encyclopedia of the Visual Arts (Berkeley: Cleis Press, 2004)Tin, Louis-Georges (ed.) The Dictionary of Homophobia: A Global History of Gay & Lesbian Experience (Vancouver:Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008)Tuller David, Cracks in the Iron Closet: Travels in Gay and Lesbian Russia, (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1996)