“To Russia with Love: A True Story of Sex, Spycraft and Stolen Diamonds”

When and Where

Tuesday, October 31, 2023 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Natalie Zemon Davis Conference Room (SS 2098)
Sidney Smith Hall
100 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 3G3


Professor Rachel Cleves, University of Victoria


Professor Rachel Cleves, University of Victoria, will discuss her work-in-progress about Americans engaged in sex work, espionage, and scandal in Russia at the end of the 19th century. Professor Cleves’ larger project, “To Russia with Love” recovers the history of two nineteenth-century Americans whose shared wanderlust and infatuation with Russian culture led to a dramatic encounter in St. Petersburg in 1874.

A historian and professor at the University of Victoria, Cleves is the author of three books, Unspeakable: A Life Beyond Sexual Morality (2020), Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America (2014), and The Reign of Terror in America: Visions of Violence from Anti-Jacobinism to Antislavery (2009). Her research has been featured in The Washington PostThe Boston Globesalon.com and brainpickings.org. She is also at work on a project titled “Good Food, Bad Sex: Alimentary Pleasure and Illicit Sexuality from the Eighteenth Century to the Present.” In August of 2023, Professor Cleves published A Second Chance for Yesterdaya novel she co-authored with her brother, Adam Sinnreich.

This is an open event and no registration is required. Questions can be directed to tim.sayle@utoronto.ca.


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