Staff Profile:Professor Dan Healey


My teaching is informed by my research interests ranging across the histories of gender and sexuality, of medicine, and of forced labour in Russia and the Soviet Union.

I contribute to our Part 1 course on 'Landmarks in European History, 1066-1945'. For Part 3 I teach a Topic module, 'Homo Sovieticus: Engineering Social Change in Soviet Russia 1917-1945' which looks at the Soviet regime's projects for the construction the New Soviet Person. At the same level I offer a Special Subject, 'Terror and Gulag in Soviet History', which draws on official and personal sources to examine violence and forced labour in Soviet places of confinement during the 1920s through the 1950s, and the ways in which Stalinist violence is now remembered by post-Soviet generations.

Postgraduate Supervision:

I offer an option module on the MA in History, 'Stalin's Russia, Stalin's Russians', and am keen to supervise MA dissertations in my areas of interest, including the history of Russia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Gulag, the comparative queer history of modern Europe, and the history of medicine. In the medical history field I am particularly interested in forensic medicine, psychiatry, and the social history of doctor-patient relations. I am very interested in hearing from prospective PhD students with proposals to work in these areas. 

Areas of Interest:

The role of medical knowledge in extending state power and creating new identities is a unifying theme in my research on Russia and the former Soviet Union. I am increasingly fascinated by the history of the Gulag, the vast network of forced labour camps that dotted the map of the Soviet Union from the 1920s to 1960. I am currently working on a book-length medical history of the Gulag, looking at the experience of the doctors and patients, prisoners and free workers, who provided and received medical care in the camps. My most recent project examined forensic medicine's role in framing sexual disorder in the early Bolshevik state. Out of this project, in 2009 I published a monograph on sexual disorder and the 'sexual revolution' of the Soviet 1920s. My earliest work focused on homosexuality and gender dissent in Russia, and a revised and much-augmented version of my English-language book on the history of modern homosexuality in Russia was translated and published in Russian by Ladomir Press, Moscow, in 2008. I continue to write and comment on these themes in academic and popular venues. Contemporary debates in Russia about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizenship remain for me an area of on-going interest.

Research groups / Centres:

I have won research funding from the Wellcome Trust, the AHRC, the British Academy, and the Open Society Institute. In 2010-11 I held Visiting Fellowships at CRASSH in Cambridge University and the Munk Centre of the University of Toronto.

My current research focuses on the history of medicine in the Soviet Gulag. Despite numerous 'survivor memoirs' written by prisoners who worked as medical staff, and a wealth of sources available on the topic, little has been written to explain why medicine existed, and how it operated, inside Stalin's forced labour camps. The paradox of medical care in places of violence, exhaustion and starvation challenges the historian to weigh various claims about the 'truth' of Gulag history as revealed in the camp bureaucracy's archival documents and in unofficial sources: personal memoirs, documentary fiction, and private papers. The Gulag medical service represented an investment, however inadequate, in the 'human resources' of the camps. Ultimately, it was an investment in the penal-colonial mission that was one of the major purposes of the camps. Consideration of the Gulag through the prism of medicine shows us features of this world behind barbed wire that differentiate it from other notorious concentration camp systems in history. The history of many of the towns of the Far North and East in today's Russian Federation begins with their Gulag origins, and these towns recall their pioneers of medical care- many of whom were prisoners - with pride and great affection. Examining the complexity of these local histories tells us how Russians today are processing the legacy of Stalinist violence.

Jump to: 2012 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2002 | 2001 | 1999
Number of items: 18.








  • Healey, D. (2005) Can we 'queer' Early Modern Russia? In: O'Donnell, K. and O'Rourke, M. (eds.) Queer Masculinities 1550-1800: Siting Same Sex Desire in the Early Modern World. Palgrave, Basingstoke and New York, pp. 106-124. ISBN 9781403920447




  • Healey, D. (1999) Moscow. In: Higgs, D. (ed.) Queer Sites: Gay Urban Histories since 1600. Routledge, London, pp. 38-60. ISBN 9780415158978
This list was generated on Mon Jul 25 04:27:31 2016 BST.

Single-authored monographs

Bolshevik Sexual Forensics: Diagnosing Disorder in the Clinic and Courtroom, 1917-1939 (DeKalb, Il.: Northern Illinois University Press, 2009). Pp. xii + 252.

Gomoseksual'noe vlechenie v revoliutsionnoi Rossii: Regulirovanie seksual'nogo-gendernogo dissidentstva, (Moscow: Ladomir Press, 2008). Pp. 619.

Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia: The Regulation of Sexual and Gender Dissent (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2001). Pp. Xvi + 392.

Edited collections

Soviet Medicine: Culture, Practice, Science (DeKalb, Il.: Northern Illinois University Press, 2010). Pp. x + 342. Jointly edited with Frances L. Bernstein and Christopher Burton.

Russian Masculinities in History and Culture (Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave, 2002). Pp. Ix + 242. Jointly edited with Barbara Evans Clements and Rebecca Friedman.

Refereed articles

"Active, Passive, and Russian: The National Idea in Gay Men's Pornography," The Russian Review, 69, 2 (2010): 210-30.

"Homosexual Existence and Existing Socialism: New Light on the Repression of Male Homosexuality in Stalin's Russia," GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 8, 3 (2002): 349-78.

"Masculine Purity and 'Gentlemen's Mischief': Sexual Exchange and Prostitution between Russian Men, 1861-1941," Slavic Review, 60, 2 (2001): 233-65.

Chapters in books

"'Untraditional Sex' and the 'Simple Russian': Nostalgia for Soviet Innocence in the Polemics of Dilia Enikeeva" in What is Soviet Now? Identities, Legacies, Memories, Eds. Thomas Lahusen and Peter Solomon (Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2008), pp. 173-91.

"Early Soviet Forensic Psychiatric Approaches to Sex Crime" in Madness and the Mad in Russian Culture, Ed. Angela Brintlinger (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007), pp. 150-68.

"Sexual Cultures in Russia" in Encyclopedia of Sociology, Ed. George Ritzer (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), vol. 8, pp. 4223-27.

"Can We Queer Early Modern Russia?" in Queer Masculinities, 1550-1800: Siting Same-Sex Desire in the Early Modern World, Katherine O'Donnell and Michael O'Rourke, eds, Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave, 2005), pp. 106-24.

"Sexual and Gender Dissent: Homosexuality as Resistance in Stalin's Russia" in Contending with Stalinism: Soviet Power and Popular Resistance in the 1930s. Ed. Lynne Viola (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002), pp. 139-69.

"Izcheznovenie russkoi tetki, ili kak rodilas' sovetskaia gomofobiia" in O muzhe(n)stvennosti, Ed. Sergei Ushakin (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2002), pp. 414-31.

"Unruly Identities: Soviet Psychiatry Confronts the Female Homosexual of the 1920s" in Gender in Russian History and Culture, ed. Linda Edmondson (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 116-38.

"Moscow" in Queer Sites: Gay Urban Histories since 1600. Ed. David Higgs (London: Routledge, 1999), pp. 38 - 60.

Recent book reviews

"Robert van Voren, Cold War in Psychiatry: Human Factors, Secret Actors, in History of Psychiatry, 22, 2 (2011): 246-47.

"Lewis Siegelbaum, ed., Borders of Socialism: Private Spheres of Soviet Russia," in Journal of Contemporary History, 45, 2 (2010): 511-12.

"Deborah Field, Private Life and Communist Morality in Khrushchev's Russia," in European History Quarterly, 39, 4 (2009): 688-90.

"Marcus C. Levitt, Tatyana Novikov, eds, Times of Trouble: Violence in Russian Literature and Culture," in Slavic Review, 68, 2 (2009): 447-48.

"Daniel Beer, Renovating Russia: The Human Sciences and the Fate of Liberal Modernity, 1880-1930," in Social History of Medicine, 22, 1(2009): 212-14.

"Susan K. Morrissey, Suicide and the body politic in imperial Russia," in Medical History, 52, 3 (2008): 409-410.

Page navigation

See also


Search Form

A-Z lists