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.