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Conor Andreas O'Dwyer
University of Florida (Gainesville, FL 32611-0001)
Coming Out of Communism: The Emergence of LGBT Activism in Eastern Europe

I am applying for NEH summer support to write the two remaining chapters of my book manuscript, Culture Clash. The book compares the historical development of both gay-rights activism and the social and cultural debate that it has provoked across five countries: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary. It spans the period from the fall of communism through these countries' "return to Europe" as member-states of the European Union. Because of the backdrop of deep repression of homosexuality under communism, the meaning of the term "gay rights" in the postcommunist context is more basic than we are accustomed to in the United States. At issue are citizenship rights of free speech, organizing collectively, and protection from overt discrimination. Examining the debate over homosexuality provides a new and compelling perspective on the rapidly changing conceptions of democratic practice, national identity, and belonging in postcommunist societies.

Project fields:
International Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2013 – 7/31/2013