Charlotte Dowling

My DPhil project explores the representation of bisexuality in Russian culture since 1991. Through an interdisciplinary analysis of a wide range of primary sources (including literature, film, music and online content), my research will provide new perspectives on post-Soviet queer culture and construct a composite image of how bisexuality has been treated over time. This distinct bisexual focus will nuance our understanding of what it means to be LGBTQI in Russia and contribute to expanding the overall scope of queer studies.

I am particularly interested in establishing the effect of the 2013 “anti-gay propaganda” law on these representations, investigating the blurring line between bisexual art and activism, and exploring how post-Soviet artists have drawn on Soviet influences to compensate for the era’s silence on the topic of sex and retrospectively document bisexuality in their work. My broader academic interests lie in sexuality and gender studies, depictions of mental health, life writing, and histories of repression and incarceration (especially those of the Gulag).

My research is supported by the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP, the Clarendon Fund, and Wadham College’s Mr Michell Scholarship.

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