Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis open access



First Advisor

Bruce Holl

Second Advisor

Naqvi Tahir


In my research I provide a genealogy of the LGBT violence in Chechnya that began in 2017. Beginning in the Soviet period, when sexual citizenship entered public discourses, and through the post-Soviet period. I turn to Diane Richardson’s theory of sexual citizenship and Bert Kulpa and Anna Mizielinska’s writings on contemporary peripheries to approach sexual citizenship in Russia and the Caucasus with a critical lens that decenters Western perspectives. I provide a historical primer on the imperial relationship between Russia and Chechnya in order to further explain how imperial dynamics impact sexual citizenship. I turn to LGBT activism since the fall of the Soviet Union to illustrate how activists are forced to contend with narratives of traditionalism based in the conservative Russian imaginary. I interviewed two LGBT Russian activists who connect state homophobia in Chechnya to larger problems of homophobia and injustice in Russia and globally. These Russian activists must contend with their role as a member of an imperial nation, while also navigating their own persecution by their state and violent homophobes.