Uku Lember


Uku Lember
Junior Fellow

Tallinn University
Narva rd 25
10120 Tallinn

+372 619 9530
uku.lember [at]
Website 2:

Since 2018
Research Project on Soviet queer history at Tallinn University

Since 2016
Lecturer at Talinn University

Research project with biographical interviews asking how Ukrainian families with differing cultural heritage have adjusted to conflicts in socio-cultural alignments and in which ways have their historical interpretations recently changed

PhD at Central European University in Budapest with a dissertation on the oral history of Russian-Estonian marriages in Soviet Estonia

Grants and stipends for working at Cornell University (USA), University College London SSEES (UK), New Europe College (Bucharest, Romania), Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv (Ukraine), and Uppsala University UCRS (Sweden).

Research Project

Revisiting the Estonian elites in the 1980-90s through oral histories: legacies, discourses and networks.

Uku Lember will revisit the interviews that were conducted by a sociologist Aili Aarelaid (1947-2014) in the 1990s with the Estonian national cultural and political elites on contemporary times and the Soviet past. Aarelaid conceptualized Estonian memory culture and cultural history, whereas the other aspects of her interviews remained unstudied. Lember will analyse how the national elites portray their own internal alignments and networks; this will help to trace the inner workings of the small Estonian leadership that is characterized by nationalism, corporatism – and liberalism. As the other and narrower stream of research, Lember will focus on the topic of LGBT activism in the 1990s as it was conducted in the small activist groupings that had developed connection to the western countries.

Selected Publications

"Memory and asymmetry in Russian-Estonian Intermarriages in Estonia during late socialism." In: Intermarriage from Central Europe to Central Asia: Ethnic Mixing under Communism, Nazism, and Beyond, ed. by Adrienne Edgar and Benjamin Frommer. University of Nebraska Press, 2020.

"From Estonian-Russian inter-marriages to "inter-regional" marriages in Ukraine in the times of crisis." In: New Europe College Yearbook, ed. by Irina Vainovski-Mihai, 125−144. Bucharest: New Europe College, 2018.

"Temporal horizons in two generations of Russian–Estonian families during late socialism." In: Generations in Estonia: Contemporary Perspectives on Turbulent Times, ed. by Raili Nugin, Anu Kannike, Maaris Raudsepp, 159−187. Tartu: University of Tartu Press, 2016.