Ioana Zamfir

Ioana Zamfir is a master’s student majoring in history at the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies of Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy where she holds a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship. Her broader research interests include Soviet history, Russian disinformation, authoritarian influence, and issues of minorities in Central and Eastern Europe. She holds an Honours BA in history and international development from McGill University. Beyond academia, Ioana has worked at Political Capital Institute in Budapest, Hungary, and for the University of Toronto Libraries as a Digital Public Historian. Her article “Between Holy Church and Holy Human Rights: Life Stories of the Romanian LGBTQ+ Community after 1989 until Romanian Accession to the European Union” was recently published in Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender HistoryHer master’s thesis concerns queer life in Belarus and Moldova as understood from firsthand accounts obtained through private archives and interviews conducted in the region. Written as a history from below, her work tackles the differences in the Soviet republics’ approaches to nonconforming sexualities and the impact of state policies on queer lived experiences. She hopes to revise the common narrative that queer history is homogenous across the former Soviet Union and largely defined by communist repression. Her study on Belarus and Moldova also ties into a broader regional discussion of identity formation and the communist experience’s impact on post-Soviet national identities largely rooted in heterosexuality and patriarchy.