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In recent years, Central Europe started not only to remember its queer past but also creatively and productively engage with it – often despite institutional and systemic hurdles, as well as social limitations. This seminar will gather scholars interested in the volatile presence of the “queer historical impulse” in Central Europe. It will attempt to address such questions as: What is the history and status of queer heritage in the region? What are the methods of its investigation – particularly when confronted with a paucity of sources and institutional queerphobia? What has been the response to the LGBTQ past among scholars and the general public? Is the queer past Central Europe’s dissonant or difficult heritage par excellence – incongruous and discrepant, producing disharmonies and conflicts? Or, alternatively, has it led to the discovery of a different kind of visual past and a different kind of history – including new interpretations, approaches, and revisions. Finally, what is Central Europe’s relationship with global/Western queer heritage and what might be its contribution to the latter?

Anita Kurimay
specializes in modern European history with an emphasis on East-Central Europe. Her main research interests include the history of sexuality, women’s and gender history, conservativism and the politics of the far right, and the history of human rights. In 2020, she published Queer Budapest, 1873–1961 (University of Chicago Press).

Wojciech Szymański is an art historian and art critic with special interest in the development of queer art, as well as the history of its collecting and exhibiting. He has curated a number of queer shows. In 2017, together with Karol Radziszewski, he curated the “Heritage” exhibition – the first Polish show dedicated to queer heritage.

Robert Kusek is a comparative literature scholar. His research interests include Central European heritage, queer homes (particularly queer writers’ homes/museums), as well as queer rurality. 


All welcome- this seminar is free to attend, but advance registration is required.