Humanities Society: Places of Tenderness and Heat - The Queer Milieu of Fin-de-Siècle St. Petersburg

Queer milieu poster
Dr Olga Petri Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Department of Geography, and former JRF at Wolfson College, Cambridge.
Date 17/05/2022 at 17.45 - 17/05/2022 at 19.00 Where Gatsby Room (Chancellor's Centre) & Zoom

Join Dr Olga Petri on a narrated tour of late imperial St. Petersburg and its male queer milieu.

Queer milieu poster

In this talk, dredging and contextualising the archival stories of certain queer spaces, Dr Petri will describe otherwise obscure features of urban modernity that – often unintentionally – facilitated queer encounters. From shopping arcades, bathhouses to public urinals, queer men routinely met, socialized, and navigate a city full of risk and opportunity.

The emphasis of this talk is as much on the routine behaviors or queer men ranging from informal socialization to outright sexual transgression, as it is about the efforts of constables, administrators, government officials and sanitary inspectors to maintain moral order.

By changing the question from one about the tsarist regime’s failures and techniques of repression vis-à-vis detected breaches of law to one concerning a range of formal and informal practices of spatial governance, Petri describes a surprisingly stable entente between illicit communion and municipal authorities’ paternalistic ambitions.

The talk will take place in the Gatsby Room (Chancellor's Centre) at Wolfson College and also on Zoom. For the in-person audience, drinks and snacks will be available from 17.45. If you would like to attend the Zoom webinar, please register your email for the link.

You can read an interview with Dr Petri in the News page.