cover of book

Violent Affections: Queer Sexuality, Techniques of Power, and Law in Russia
by Alexander Sasha Kondakov
University College London, 2022
Paper: 978-1-80008-294-6 | Cloth: 978-1-80008-295-3

An inciteful analysis of the affective rhetoric surrounding Russian anti-LGBTQ violence.

Passed in 2013, Russia’s “gay propaganda” law cemented the nation’s anti-LGBTQ sentiment into legal rhetoric that has since emboldened countless instances of violence against queer people. Based on an analysis of over three hundred criminal cases of anti-queer violence in Russia before and after the introduction of the law, Violent Affections shows how violent acts are framed in emotional language by perpetrators during their criminal trials, thus uncovering the techniques of power that work to translate emotions into violence against queer people. Utilizing an original methodology of studying legal memes, this book argues that individual affective states are directly connected to the political and legislative violence aimed at policing queer lives. Alexander Sasha Kondakov expands upon two sets of interdisciplinary literature–queer theory and affect theory–in order to conceptualize what is referred to as neo-disciplinary power. The book traces how affections circulate from body to body as a kind of virus, eventually enabling the turn from a memetic response to violent action.

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