University College Dublin (UCD) Researcher Dr Alexander Kondakov launches his new book Violent Affections (2022, UCL Press) in UCD at 5pm, Thursday 2 March 2023.
Violent Affections reveals the techniques of power that have emboldened hate crimes against queer people in Russia over the last decade.
In 2013, Russia enacted the so-called “gay propaganda” law – a censorship legislation banning LGBTQI-related content from circulation and LGBTQI activists from organising public events. Through analysis of over 300 criminal cases of anti-queer violence before and after this law was introduced, the author draws attention to the devastating consequences of anti-queer rhetoric: murders, injuries, kidnappings and other violent crimes, which doubled after the law was introduced.
Author and Assistant Professor at UCD School of Sociology, Dr Kondakov says: “It is commonly assumed that a decision to commit violence is taken individually by the perpetrators. In my analysis, however, I link that decision directly to political homophobia. I suggest that in every individual decision to kill or injure a gay person, there is a share that belongs to government officials who disseminate hate.”
The book explores the social mechanisms that impact anti-queer violence as evidenced in the reviewed criminal cases, connecting this to the political violence aimed at queer lives more generally. By bringing to light stories of LGBTQI people in Russia, this important research raises awareness of the senseless violence taking place, and illustrates the dire impacts of discriminatory censorship laws.
Violent Affections is praised as 'immediately relevant in the contemporary period of misinformation campaigns and the influence of technology in the production of truth. Violent Affections demonstrates the interweaving of government, law, and society from a discursive technological standpoint founded on centuries of sociohistorical knowledge.' (Journal of Homosexuality, January 2023).
In this volume, Kondakov expands upon queer theory and affect theory to conceptualise what is referred to as neo-disciplinary power, developing an original explanation of how contemporary power relations are changing from those of late modernity as envisioned by Foucault’s Panopticon to neo-disciplinary power relations of a much more fragmented, fluid and unstructured kind – the Memeticon.
The book launch will take place on Thursday 2 March 2023 at 5pm in The Campus Bookshop, UCD, featuring a discussion with the author and comments from Jennifer Schweppe (University of Limerick), one of Ireland's leading scholars of hate crime. Launch tickets here, hard copies of the book will be available to purchase.
The book is available for free download and for purchase in various formats at https://www.uclpress.co.uk/products/192307.