Dr. Rasa Navickaitė

Dr. Rasa Navickaitė

Rasa Navickaitė is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions postdoctoral fellow, working on the project entitled "Modernization of Sexuality and the Construction of Deviance in Soviet Lithuania (MoSeLit)". She is a gender historian with research interests in marginalized sexualities and gender identities, history of Eastern Europe in a transnational perspective, feminist and queer theory, and postcolonial theory. 

Project description

Rasa's current project, MoSeLit, aims to provide a historical analysis of the formation of the understanding of queer sexuality as “deviance” in medical, criminological, educational and other discourses and practices in Lithuanian SSR, seeing it as a part of the bigger process of the socialist modernization of sexuality in general. Combining archival research with oral interviews, the project will shed light not only on the oppression of queer people, but also on the possibilities for subjectification and agency they had in this environment. By focusing on the cultural and intellectual history of state-socialist Eastern Europe the project will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the development of the modern discourses of sexuality and contemporary queer identities, and provide some insights into the historical context of the contemporary discrepancies in sexual norms and attitudes in Europe. Applying the insights from queer theory and postcolonial studies for the investigation into the Western borderlands of the Soviet Union, the project will also question the unidimensional narratives of modernization and or "backwardness" in the context of regulation of sexuality and the acceptance of LGBTQ people.


Work-in-progress: research monograph “Goddess Archaeology: Transnational Biography and Reception of Marija Gimbutas.” Book project accepted by the Archaeology division at Routledge.

Forecoming: “Soviet (Im)Morality on the Western Borderlands: Body, Sexuality and the State.” Invited to the special issue ‘Desire Creates Actors. Practices of Subjectification During the 20th Century’ of the peer-reviewed academic journal Nordost Archiv.

Navickaitė, Rasa, 2015, “Under the Western Gaze: Sexuality and Postsocialist ‘Transition’ in East Europe.” In Postcolonial Transitions in Europe: Contexts, Practices and Politics, edited by Sandra Ponzanesi and Gianmaria Colpani, 119–32. Rowman & Littlefield International.

Navickaitė, Rasa, 2014, “Postcolonial Queer Critique in Post-Communist Europe - Stuck in the Western Progress Narrative?” Tijdschrift Voor Genderstudies, special issue Gendered Fortress Europe 17 (2): 165–85.

Navickaitė, Rasa, 2012, “Queer as Alla: Subversion And/or Re-Affirmation of the Homophobic Nationalist Discourse of Normality in Post-Soviet Vilnius.” Lambda Nordica, special issue Central and Eastern European Sexualities “In Transition”, 4: 126–52. 

Full CV