Journalist to discuss sexual identity and the law in Putin’s Russia

Masha Gessen, a Russian-American author, journalist, and activist, will speak at Yale on Tuesday, Oct. 28 as a Poynter Fellow in Journalism.

Masha Gessen

Gessen will participate in a round-table discussion on “Marginality, Sexual Identity and the Law in Putin’s Russia,” co-sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, History, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies. The discussion will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Harkness Hall, 100 Wall St. The event is free and open to the public.

Gessen identifies as a lesbian, and writes extensively on LGBT rights and the LGBT experience in her native Russia. She is also noted for her outright opposition to Russian president Vladimir Putin, calling him “an aspiring thug” in her October 2008 profile of him for Vanity Fair.

She has written numerous books, including “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladmir Putin” and “Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot,” an exploration of the Russian feminist punk rock protest group Pussy Riot. Additionally, she is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, New Statesman, Granta, Slate, Vanity Fair, and U.S. News & World Report.

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism was established by Nelson Poynter, who received his master’s degree in 1927 from Yale. The fellowship brings to campus journalists from a wide variety of media outlets who have made significant contributions to their field. Among recent Poynter fellows are Michael Forsythe, Seymour Hersh, and Emily Nussbaum.

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