Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




The War Between the Wars: The Turk, the Homosexual, and Temporal Condensation in Postsocialist Armenia

This event was held virtually as a Zoom webinar and streamed via YouTube Live

Please join us for an event in the Minority Inclusion and Exclusion in Soviet and Post-Communist Societies Speaker Series, a discussion with Tamar Shirinian, Postdoctoral Teaching Associate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Moderated by Svetlana Borodina, Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Harriman Institute.

Tamar Shirinian received her B.A. in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of California at Berkeley in 2007 and her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, with a Certificate in Feminist Studies, from Duke University in 2016. She is currently a Postdoctoral Teaching Associate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Her current book project, Survival of a Perverse Nation: Queer Transformations in Postsocialist Armenia, investigates the widespread rhetorics of sexual and moral “perversion” in everyday life. Her work has been published in American Ethnologist QED: Journal of GLBT World-making, PoLAR: The Political and Legal Anthropology Review, and lamda nordica. She has edited a special issue of Armenian Review entitled “Queering Armenian Studies,” which also includes an original research article by her. Her work has been translated in Armenian, Turkish, and Georgian.

Minority Inclusion and Exclusion in Soviet and Post-Communist Societies

2020-2021 Speaker Series

As we continue to struggle with issues of discrimination and systemic racism in our own country, it’s important to broaden our perspectives and examine the often-overlooked experiences of minorities and vulnerable communities living in Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe. Over the next couple of years, we have planned an academic speaker series that considers some of the latest academic research on issues of discrimination, representation, identity, and inequality in the USSR and post-socialist societies.

The series, organized by Postdoctoral Research Scholar Svetlana Borodina, will look at minorities and marginalized groups in the post-Soviet and post-socialist space—how they become folded into or erased from (post)socialist national projects. Speakers will engage with different national contexts and social groups to help the audience build a nuanced understanding of the wide spectrum of inclusion and exclusion measures practiced in Soviet and postsocialist societies. We will tackle the following questions:

What kinds of minority bodies and identities serve as tokens of national flourishing in (post)socialist societies? 

How do marginalized people reclaim their right to participate in shaping their future and the future of their countries, more broadly?

What is unique about postsocialist discourses of diversity and inclusion and what global challenges do they respond to?

DECEMBER 1, 2020
Voices from the Soviet Edge: Southern Migrants in Leningrad and Moscow

Jeff Sahadeo, Associate Professor at the Institute of Europe, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Carleton University

JANUARY 22, 2021
Mixed Messages: Mediating Native Belonging in Asian Russia

Kathryn E. Graber Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University Bloomington

FEBRUARY 17, 2021
Narkomania: Drugs, HIV, and Citizenship in Ukraine

Jennifer J. Carroll, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Elon University

MARCH 17, 2021
Post-Socialist Rehabilitations: Disability, Race, Gender and Sexuality and the Limits of National Belonging

Kateřina Kolářová, Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies, Charles University, Prague

APRIL 7, 2021
The War Between the Wars: The Turk, the Homosexual, and Temporal Condensation in Postsocialist Armenia

Tamar Shirinian, Postdoctoral Teaching Associate Department of Anthropology University of Tennessee Knoxville

Event Video