I am Professor of Modern Russian History at the University of Oxford, jointly appointed by the Faculty of History and the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies. As a young gay activist in the 1970s in Canada, I came of age when knowledge about queer history and culture was scarce and hard to find: I am proud to be part of a generation that uncovered “hidden histories” and reconceptualised the queer past, while striving for a better queer future.
I am interested in the history of sexualities and gender in modernising Russia, and particularly the role of medicine and law in shaping the regulation of sexual and gender dissent and conformity. My publications include Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi, published in December 2017 by Bloomsbury Academic. I wrote the first full-length history of homosexuality in Russia, Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia: The Regulation of Sexual and Gender Dissent (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2001), translated into Russian and published in Moscow by Ladomir Press in 2008. Since then I have published many articles and book chapters on sexualities, gender and Soviet and post-Soviet society.