Bogdan Popa

Dec 17, 2021

De-Centering Queer Theory

Communist Sexuality in the Flow During and After the Cold War

Theory for a Global Age 2021

Bogdan Popa’s De-Centering Queer Theory: Communist Sexuality in the Flow During and After the Cold War (Manchester University Press, 2021) seeks to reorient queer theory to a different conception of bodies and sexuality derived from Eastern European Marxism. The book articulates a contrast between the concept of the productive body, which draws its epistemology from Soviet and avant-garde theorists, and Cold War gender, which is defined as the social construction of the body. The first part of the book concentrates on the theoretical and visual production of Eastern European Marxism, which proposed an alternative version of sexuality to that of western liberalism. In doing so it offers a historical angle to understand the emergence not only of an alternative epistemology, but also of queer theory's vocabulary. The second part of the book provides a Marxist, anti-capitalist archive for queer studies, which often neglects to engage critically with its liberal and Cold War underpinnings.

Louisa Hann recently attained a PhD in English and American studies from the University of Manchester, specialising in the political economy of HIV/AIDS theatres. She has published work on the memorialisation of HIV/AIDS on the contemporary stage and the use of documentary theatre as a neoliberal harm reduction tool. She is currently working on a monograph based on her doctoral thesis. You can get in touch with her at

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