AIDS and the National Body
Thomas E. Yingling Duke University Press, 1997 Library of Congress RA644.A25Y56 1997 | Dewey Decimal 362.196979200973
Thomas Yingling was a rising star in American studies, a leading figure in gay and lesbian studies, and a prominent theorist of AIDS and cultural politics when he died in 1992. AIDS and the National Body is a brilliant excursion into the mind and heart of Yingling, author of the critically acclaimed book, Hart Crane and the Homosexual Text. Robyn Wiegman, a friend and colleague of Yingling’s, has collected in this book a selection of his critical and creative work. These previously published and unpublished essays, nonacademic prose, poetry, and letters are a powerful testimonial to the intellectual legacy left by Yingling. Contemplating the contradictions of individual identity from within a human body adapting to and living within a collective national culture, Yingling delves into such issues as canon formation, poetic theory, and the rhetoric of the body in American popular culture. In addition to Wiegman’s illuminating introduction, the conversation is joined by four other scholars—Michael Awkward, Robert L. Caserio, Stephen Melville, and David Román—whose critical and personal responses to Yingling’s writing weigh in throughout the volume. What emerges is a collection that embodies the particular difficulties of living with AIDS, of outliving someone who has died of AIDS, and of losing prematurely an important thinker.
Lucid and compellingly written, Patricia Siplon has immersed herself in the history and ongoing firestorms of how AIDS policies are influenced, fought over, and enacted in the United States. AIDS and the Policy Struggle in the United States is equally as engrossing and as revealing in its own way as And the Band Played On. With an initial chapter that clearly follows the tangled historical string from the first realizations of a medical emergency to today's overwhelming worldwide epidemical crisis, she goes on to look at how medical treatments have changed and grown; how blood policies were formed; how value-based debates raged and continue to rage over prevention; how communities developed to first respond to the crisis, and later organized to fight for health care; and finally-now that AIDS is recognized for the global crisis it is-how foreign policy is being shaped.
Invaluable for activists and anyone involved in fighting for the humane treatment of people with HIV/AIDS around the world, this is also an important and insightful guide to the how and what of public policy as it is fashioned out of the clay of U.S. democratic institutions.
Do patients have the right to know their physician's HIV status?
Can a dentist refuse treatment to an HIV-positive patient?
How do educators determine whether to allow an HIV-positive child to attend school, and if they do, should the parents of other children be informed?
Should a counselor break confidentiality by disclosing to a wife that her husband is infected with HIV?
This collection of original essays carefully examines the difficult moral choices the AIDS pandemic has presented for many professionals—physicians, nurses, dentists, teachers and school administrators, business managers, psychotherapists, lawyers, clergy, journalists, and politicians. In the workplace, problems posed by HIV and AIDS have led to a reexamination of traditional codes of ethics. Providing systematic and reasoned discussions, the authors explore the moral, legal, and ethical issues involved in the reconsideration of policies, standards of conduct, and the practicality of balancing personal and professional ethics.
Contributors: Albert Flores, Joan C. Callahan, Jill Powell, Kenneth Kipnis, Al Gini, Howard Cohen, Martin Gunderson, Joseph A. Edelheit, Michael Pritchard, Vincent J. Samar, Sohair ElBaz, William Pardue, and the editors.
The deluge of metaphors triggered in 1981 in France by the first public reports of what would turn out to be the AIDS epidemic spread with far greater speed and efficiency than the virus itself. To understand why it took France so long to react to the AIDS crisis, AIDS in French Culture analyzes the intersections of three discourses—the literary, the medical, and the political—and traces the origin of French attitudes about AIDS back to nineteenth-century anxieties about nationhood, masculinity, and sexuality.
In the ten years since the first cases of AIDS were reported, the disease has spread around the world. Every country has had to come up with policies suited to its own conditions, economy, culture, and institutions. The differences among their approaches are striking. This volume, the first international comprehensive comparison of responses to AIDS, is a unique guide to the world's most urgent public health crisis.
Sixteen leading experts in public health, social science, government, and public policy from USA, Canada, Germany, Australia, Spain, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Japan candidly recount and analyze the responses of their own nations and comment on the lessons that can be drawn from each country's experience. For each country, they look critically at the tragic statistics of AIDS incidence; the circumstances of AIDS's first appearance; public health traditions of mandatory screening, contact tracing, and quarantine; attitudes toward drug abuse, homosexuality, sex education; publicity about AIDS; legal and customary protections of civil rights, minority groups, medical confidentiality; access to health care and insurance; and the interplay of formal and informal interest groups in shaping policy. The spectrum of AIDS policy ranges from severe "contain-and-control" programs to much more liberal plans based on education, cooperation, and inclusion.
No matter what policy a nation has constructed to deal with AIDS, the coming decade will test how well that policy conforms to democratic ideals. By scrutinizing the responses to AIDS so far, this book aims to give countries around the world a chance to learn from each others' mistakes and triumphs. It will be essential reading for all students and professionals in public health and public policy.
Patricia C. Henderson, a South African anthropologist, resided from March 2003 to February 2006 in Okhahlamba, a municipality in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. In this book, she recounts her experience among this rural population who lived under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. Spanning a period that starts before antiretrovirals were readily available to a time when these treatments were finally used to care for the ill, this powerful account of a terrible disease and the communities which it affects focuses on the ties between suffering and kinship in South Africa.
AIDS, The Winter War
Arthur Kahn Temple University Press, 1993 Library of Congress RA644.A25K34 1993 | Dewey Decimal 362.196979200973
"The most complete history of how AIDS treatment activism began--and an appalling look at the government AIDS mismanagement."
--John S. James, AIDS Treatment News
Arthur Kahn traces the history of the struggle for recognition of and action on behalf of the AIDS epidemic. He describes the heroic struggle for survival by persons with AIDS and their allies for survival. He documents the sophisticated and effective mobilization of AIDS activists in the face of apathy from the Reagan and Bush administrations.
Kahn presents a case study of the difficulties involved in bringing new drugs for AIDS to U.S. markets. He outlines the frustrating attempts to promote egg lecithin as the potential medicine for HIV patients after its use showed some signs of success in Israel. Obstruction by the federal bureaucracy, greed and incompetence on the part of the drug industry, stonewalling by scientific mandarins, and impediments to evaluation testing--these are shown to be the cruel realities faces by patients and activists.
After setting this background, Kahn details the work of President Reagan's commission on AIDS. Although news of the establishment of this committee was met with scorn and cynicism, the results of its study were both effective and humane. Led by Admiral James Watkins, whose sensitivity won the respect of both commissions members and gay activists, the Commission on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Epidemic issued a final report that seriously addressed the ramifications of the epidemic for American society as a whole.
"In persuasive detail...Kahn demonstrates [that] the struggle against AIDS requires a continuous fight against vested interests that have little regard for alternative ideas and against egotists who put self-aggrandizement above a worldwide crisis.... Arthur Kahn's book presents the history of the clinical struggle and identifies heroes, many of whom have died fighting for all of us. Their efforts must be recognized. Their struggle is not over."
--William Regelson, M.D., Professor, College of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University (from the Introduction)
Last year, more African Americans were reported with AIDS than any other racial or ethnic group. And while African Americans make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, they account for more than 55 percent of all newly diagnosed HIV infections. These alarming developments have caused reactions ranging from profound grief to extreme anger in African-American communities, yet the organized political reaction has remained remarkably restrained.
The Boundaries of Blackness is the first full-scale exploration of the social, political, and cultural impact of AIDS on the African-American community. Informed by interviews with activists, ministers, public officials, and people with AIDS, Cathy Cohen unflinchingly brings to light how the epidemic fractured, rather than united, the black community. She traces how the disease separated blacks along different fault lines and analyzes the ensuing struggles and debates.
More broadly, Cohen analyzes how other cross-cutting issues—of class, gender, and sexuality—challenge accepted ideas of who belongs in the community. Such issues, she predicts, will increasingly occupy the political agendas of black organizations and institutions and can lead to either greater inclusiveness or further divisiveness.
The Boundaries of Blackness, by examining the response of a changing community to an issue laced with stigma, has much to teach us about oppression, resistance, and marginalization. It also offers valuable insight into how the politics of the African-American community—and other marginal groups—will evolve in the twenty-first century.
In recent years, the economy of the Caribbean has become almost completely dependent on international tourism. And today one of the chief ways that foreign visitors there seek pleasure is through prostitution. While much has been written on the female sex workers who service these tourists, Caribbean Pleasure Industry shifts the focus onto the men. Drawing on his groundbreaking ethnographic research in the Dominican Republic, Mark Padilla discovers a complex world where the global political and economic impact of tourism has led to shifting sexual identities, growing economic pressures, and new challenges for HIV prevention. In fluid prose, Padilla analyzes men who have sex with male tourists, yet identify themselves as “normal” heterosexual men and struggle to maintain this status within their relationships with wives and girlfriends. Padilla’s exceptional ability to describe the experiences of these men will interest anthropologists, but his examination of bisexuality and tourism as much-neglected factors in the HIV/AIDS epidemic makes this book essential to anyone concerned with health and sexuality in the Caribbean or beyond.
Telling the affecting stories of eighty gay, bisexual, and transgender (GBT) Latino activists and volunteers living in Chicago and San Francisco, Compañeros: Latino Activists in the Face of AIDS closely details how these individuals have been touched or transformed by the AIDS epidemic. Weaving together activists' responses to oppression and stigma, their encounters with AIDS, and their experiences as GBTs and Latinos in North America and Latin America, Jesus Ramirez-Valles explores the intersection of civic involvement with ethnic and sexual identity. Even as activists battle multiple sources of oppression, they are able to restore their sense of family connection and self-esteem through the creation of an alternative space in which community members find value in their relationships with one another. In demonstrating the transformative effects of a nurturing community environment for GBT Latinos affected by the AIDS epidemic, Ramirez-Valles illustrates that members find support in one another, as compañeros, in their struggles with homophobia, gender discrimination, racism, poverty, and forced migration.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa has defined the childhoods of an entire generation. Over the past twenty years, international NGOs and charities have devoted immense attention to the millions of African children orphaned by the disease. But in Crying for Our Elders, anthropologist Kristen E. Cheney argues that these humanitarian groups have misread the ‘orphan crisis’. She explains how the global humanitarian focus on orphanhood often elides the social and political circumstances that actually present the greatest adversity to vulnerable children—in effect deepening the crisis and thereby affecting children’s lives as irrevocably as HIV/AIDS itself.
Through ethnographic fieldwork and collaborative research with children in Uganda, Cheney traces how the “best interest” principle that governs children’s’ rights can stigmatize orphans and leave children in the post-antiretroviral era even more vulnerable to exploitation. She details the dramatic effects this has on traditional family support and child protection and stresses child empowerment over pity. Crying for Our Elders advances current discussions on humanitarianism, children’s studies, orphanhood, and kinship. By exploring the unique experience of AIDS orphanhood through the eyes of children, caregivers, and policymakers, Cheney shows that despite the extreme challenges of growing up in the era of HIV/AIDS, the post-ARV generation still holds out hope for the future.
Michael Foucault called sex “the explanation for everything, our master key.” In Discourses of Sexuality, fourteen distinguished scholars, artists, and critics examine sexuality from a fascinating array of perspectives. The book’s opening section reopens the question of “the history of sexuality;” it is followed by “Regimes of Knowledge and Desire,” which explores gender and sexuality in the Elizabethan period, sexual desire and the market economy during the Industrial Revolution, and Freud’s notions of sexuality of “perversion.” The next section, “The Constructed Body,” examines conceptions, representations, and implications of the body through written and visual representation. The last part of the book, “AIDS and the Crisis of Modernity,” looks at the place of AIDS in the study of sexuality, provides an analysis of Nicholas Nixon’s portraits of people with AIDS, and demonstrates the importance of rediscovering values that help us to live with human variety and social diversity.
Challenging traditional approaches to medical history, Disease in the History of Modern Latin America advances understandings of disease as a social and cultural construction in Latin America. This innovative collection provides a vivid look at the latest research in the cultural history of medicine through insightful essays about how disease—whether it be cholera or aids, leprosy or mental illness—was experienced and managed in different Latin American countries and regions, at different times from the late nineteenth century to the present.
Based on the idea that the meanings of sickness—and health—are contestable and subject to controversy, Disease in the History of Modern Latin America displays the richness of an interdisciplinary approach to social and cultural history. Examining diseases in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia, the contributors explore the production of scientific knowledge, literary metaphors for illness, domestic public health efforts, and initiatives shaped by the agendas of international agencies. They also analyze the connections between ideas of sexuality, disease, nation, and modernity; the instrumental role of certain illnesses in state-building processes; welfare efforts sponsored by the state and led by the medical professions; and the boundaries between individual and state responsibilities regarding sickness and health. Diego Armus’s introduction contextualizes the essays within the history of medicine, the history of public health, and the sociocultural history of disease. Contributors. Diego Armus, Anne-Emanuelle Birn, Kathleen Elaine Bliss, Ann S. Blum, Marilia Coutinho, Marcus Cueto, Patrick Larvie, Gabriela Nouzeilles, Diana Obregón, Nancy Lays Stepan, Ann Zulawski
Honorable Mention by the David Easton Award Committee
APSA Finalist for the 2009 Herskovits Award for outstanding scholarly work published on Africa
Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS builds from Marc Epprecht’s previous book, Hungochani (which focuses expli citly on same-sex desire in southern Africa) to explore the historical processes by which a singular, heterosexual identity for Africa was constructed—by anthropologists, ethnopsychologists, colonial officials, African elites, and most recently, health care workers seeking to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This is an eloquently written, accessible book, based on a rich and diverse range of sources, that will find enthusiastic audiences in classrooms and in the general public.
Epprecht argues that Africans, just like people all over the world, have always had a range of sexualities and sexual identities. Over the course of the last two centuries, however, African societies south of the Sahara have come to be viewed as singularly heterosexual. Epprecht carefully traces the many routes by which this singularity, this heteronormativity, became a dominant culture. A fascinating story that will surely generate lively debate Epprecht makes his project speak to a range of literatures—queer theory, the new imperial history, African social history, queer and women’s studies, and biomedical literature on the HIV/AIDS pandemic. He does this with a light enough hand that his story is not bogged down by endless references to particular debates.
Heterosexual Africa? aims to understand an enduring stereotype about Africa and Africans. It asks how Africa came to be defined as a “homosexual-free zone” during the colonial era, and how this idea not only survived the transition to independence but flourished under conditions of globalization and early panicky responses to HIV/AIDS.
Paula A. Treichler has become a singularly important voice among the significant theorists on the AIDS crisis. Dissecting the cultural politics surrounding representations of HIV and AIDS, her work has altered the field of cultural studies by establishing medicine as a legitimate focus for cultural analysis. How to Have Theory in an Epidemic is a comprehensive collection of Treichler’s related writings, including revised and updated essays from the 1980s and 1990s that present a sustained argument about the AIDS epidemic from a uniquely knowledgeable and interdisciplinary standpoint. “AIDS is more than an epidemic disease,” Treichler writes, “it is an epidemic of meanings.” Exploring how such meanings originate, proliferate, and take hold, her essays investigate how certain interpretations of the epidemic dominate while others are obscured. They also suggest ways to understand and choose between overlapping or competing discourses. In her coverage of roughly fifteen years of the AIDS epidemic, Treichler addresses a range of key issues, from biomedical discourse and theories of pathogenesis to the mainstream media’s depictions of the crisis in both developed and developing countries. She also examines representations of women and AIDS, treatment issues, and the role of activism in shaping the politics of the epidemic. Linking the AIDS tragedy to a uniquely broad spectrum of contemporary theory and culture, this collection concludes with an essay on the continued importance of theoretical thought for untangling the sociocultural phenomena of AIDS—and for tackling the disease itself. With an exhaustive bibliography of critical and theoretical writings on HIV and AIDS, this long-awaited volume will be essential to all those invested in studying the course of AIDS, its devastating medical effects, and its massive impact on contemporary culture. It should become a standard text in university courses dealing with AIDS in biomedicine, sociology, anthropology, gay and lesbian studies, women’s studies, and cultural and media studies.
David Gere, who came of age as a dance critic at the height of the AIDS epidemic, offers the first book to examine in depth the interplay of AIDS and choreography in the United States, specifically in relation to gay men. The time he writes about is one of extremes. A life-threatening medical syndrome is spreading, its transmission linked to sex. Blame is settling on gay men. What is possible in such a highly charged moment, when art and politics coincide?
Gere expands the definition of choreography to analyze not only theatrical dances but also the protests conceived by ACT-UP and the NAMES Project AIDS quilt. These exist on a continuum in which dance, protest, and wrenching emotional expression have become essentially indistinguishable. Gere offers a portrait of gay male choreographers struggling to cope with AIDS and its meanings.
The AIDS epidemic soured the memory of the sexual revolution and gay liberation of the 1970s, and prominent politicians, commentators, and academics instructed gay men to forget the sexual cultures of the 1970s in order to ensure a healthy future. But without memory there can be no future, argue Christopher Castiglia and Christopher Reed in this exploration of the struggle over gay memory that marked the decades following the onset of AIDS.
Challenging many of the assumptions behind first-wave queer theory, If Memory Serves offers a new perspective on the emergence of contemporary queer culture from the suppression and repression of gay memory. Drawing on a rich archive of videos, films, television shows, novels, monuments, paintings, and sculptures created in the wake of the epidemic, the authors reveal a resistance among critics to valuing—even recognizing—the inscription of gay memory in art, literature, popular culture, and the built environment. Castiglia and Reed explore such topics as the unacknowledged ways in which the popular sitcom Will and Grace circulated gay subcultural references to awaken a desire for belonging among young viewers; the post-traumatic (un)rememberings of queer theory; and the generation of “ideality politics” in the art of Félix González-Torres, the film Chuck & Buck, and the independent video Video Remains.
Inspired by Alasdair MacIntyre’s insight that “the possession of a historical identity and the possession of a social identity coincide,” Castiglia and Reed demonstrate that memory is crafted in response to inadequacies in the present—and therefore a constructive relation to the past is essential to the imagining of a new future.
AIDS has devastated communities across southern Africa. In Lesotho, where a quarter of adults are infected, the wide-ranging implications of the disease have been felt in every family, disrupting key aspects of social life. In Infected Kin, Ellen Block and Will McGrath argue that AIDS is fundamentally a kinship disease, examining the ways it transcends infected individuals and seeps into kin relations and networks of care. While much AIDS scholarship has turned away from the difficult daily realities of those affected by the disease, Infected Kin uses both ethnographic scholarship and creative nonfiction to bring to life the joys and struggles of the Basotho people at the heart of the AIDS pandemic. The result is a book accessible to wide readership, yet built upon scholarship and theoretical contributions that ensure Infected Kin will remain relevant to anyone interested in anthropology, kinship, global health, and care.
Life with AIDS
Weitz, Rose Rutgers University Press, 1991 Library of Congress RC607.A26W45 1991 | Dewey Decimal 362.1969792
Rose Weitz presents a holistic picture of the experiences of people with HIV disease, using their own words and focusing on the issues that they consider important. Her information comes from in-depth interviews with women and men who have HIV disease--from those who are asymptomatic but infected to those who have full-blown AIDS--and from interviews with doctors who treat persons with HIV disease.
Weitz describes how these people are affected by and respond to the changes in their bodies and their social relationships, from the time when they realize that they are at risk of infection to the time when death approaches. It covers such issues as how individuals obtain diagnoses, develop their initial ideas about what the future will bring, and come to terms with their impending deaths. To put this into a broader context, she also explores the moral status of illness in general and looks at why some illnesses, including HIV disease, have become especially stigmatized.
The author also explores how doctors are affected by and cope with the unique pressures of treating persons with HIV disease. The concluding chapter theorizes about how changes in the social construction, demographic distribution, and treatment of HIV disease are changing the lives of people with AIDS.
In Paris in 1954, a young man named André Baudry founded Arcadie, an organization for “homophiles” that would become the largest of its kind that has ever existed in France, lasting nearly thirty years. In addition to acting as the only public voice for French gays prior to the explosion of radicalism of 1968, Arcadie—with its club and review—was a social and intellectual hub, attracting support from individuals as diverse as Jean Cocteau and Michel Foucault and offering support and solidarity to thousands of isolated individuals. Yet despite its huge importance, Arcadie has largely disappeared from the historical record.
The main cause of this neglect, Julian Jackson explains in Living in Arcadia, is that during the post-Stonewall era of queer activism, Baudry’s organization fell into disfavor, dismissed as conservative, conformist, and closeted. Through extensive archival research and numerous interviews with the reclusive Baudry, Jackson challenges this reductive view, uncovering Arcadie’s pioneering efforts to educate the European public about homosexuality in an era of renewed repression. In the course of relating this absorbing history, Jackson offers a startlingly original account of the history of homosexuality in modern France.
Loss within Loss: Artists in the Age of AIDS
Edited by Edmund White; In Cooperation with the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, a project of the Alliance for the Arts University of Wisconsin Press, 2002 Library of Congress NX180.A36L67 2001 | Dewey Decimal 700.87
When an artist dies we face two great losses: the person and the work he did not live to do. Loss within Loss is a moving collaboration by some of America's most eloquent writers, who supply wry, raging, sorrowful, and buoyant accounts of artist friends and lovers struck down by AIDS. These essayists include Maya Angelou, Alan Gurganus, Brad Gooch, John Berendt, Craig Lucas, Robert Rosenblum, and eighteen others. Many of the subjects of the essays were already prominent—James Merrill, Paul Monette, David Wojnarowicz—but many others died young, before they were able to fulfil the promise of their lives and art. Loss within Loss spans all of the arts and includes portraits of choreographers, painters, poets, actors, playwrights, sculptors, editors, composers, and architects.
This landmark book is published in association with the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, a national organization that preserves art works created by artists living with HIV or lost to AIDS. Loss within Loss stands as a powerful reminder of the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic on the arts community and as the first real survey of that devastation. Though these accounts are often intensely sad, Loss within Loss is an invigorating, sometimes even exuberant, testimony to the sheer joy of being an artist . . . and being alive.
The Night Is Young takes us past the stereotypes of macho hombres and dark-eyed señoritas to reveal the complex nature of sexuality in modern-day Mexico. Drawing on field research conducted in Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city, Héctor Carrillo shows how modernization, globalization, and other social changes have affected a wide range of hetero- and homosexual practices and identities.
Carrillo finds that young Mexicans today grapple in a variety of ways with two competing tendencies. On the one hand, many seek to challenge traditional ideas and values they find limiting. But they also want to maintain a sense of Mexico's cultural distinctiveness, especially in relation to the United States. For example, while Mexicans are well aware of the dangers of unprotected sex, they may also prize the surrender to sexual passion, even in casual sexual encounters—an attitude which stems from the strong values placed on collective life, spontaneity, and an openness toward intimacy. Because these expectations contrast sharply with messages about individuality, planning, and overt negotiation commonly promoted in global public health efforts, Carrillo argues that they demand a new approach to AIDS prevention education in Mexico.
A Mexican native, Carrillo has written an exceptionally insightful and accessible study of the relations among sexuality, social change, and AIDS prevention in Mexico. Anyone concerned with the changing place of sexuality in a modern and increasingly globalized world will profit greatly from The Night Is Young.
Since recording its first AIDS cases in 1983, Tanzania has reported nearly 90,000 more to the World Health Organization—more than any other country in Africa. As AIDS spread, the devastating syndrome came to be known simply as ugonjwa huo: "that disease."
The AIDS epidemic has forced Africans to reflect upon the meaning of traditional ideas and practices related to sexuality and fertility, and upon modernity and biomedicine. In A Plague of Paradoxes, anthropologist Philip Setel observes Tanzania's Chagga people and their attempts to cope with and understand AIDS—the latest in a series of crises over which they feel they have little, if any, control.
Timely and well-researched, A Plague of Paradoxes is an extended case study of the most serious epidemic of the twentieth century and the cultural circumstances out of which it emerged. It is a unique book that brings together anthropology, demography, and epidemiology to explain how a particular community in Africa experiences AIDS.
A frightening new plague. A medical mystery. A pioneering immunologist. In A Plague on All Our Houses, Dr. Bruce J. Hillman dissects the war of egos, money, academic power, and Hollywood clout that advanced AIDS research even as it compromised the career of the scientist who discovered the disease. At the beginning of the worldwide epidemic soon to be known as AIDS, Dr. Michael Gottlieb was a young immunologist new to the faculty of UCLA Medical Center. In 1981 he was brought in to consult on a battery of unusual cases: four formerly healthy gay men presenting with persistent fever, weight loss, and highly unusual infections. Other physicians around the country had noted similar clusters of symptoms, but it was Gottlieb who first realized that these patients had a new and deadly disease. He also identified the defect in their immune system that allowed the disease to flourish. He published his findings in a now-iconic lead article in the New England Journal of Medicine—an impressive achievement for such a young scientist—and quickly became the focal point of a whirlwind of panic, envy, desperation, and distrust that played out against a glittering Hollywood backdrop. Courted by the media, the gay community, and the entertainment industry, Gottlieb emerged as the medical face of the terrifying new epidemic when he became personal physician to Rock Hudson, the first celebrity AIDS patient. With Elizabeth Taylor he cofounded the charitable foundation amfAR, which advanced public awareness of AIDS and raised vast sums for research, even as it struggled against political resistance that began with the Reagan administration and trickled down through sedimentary layers of bureaucracy. Far from supporting him, the UCLA medical establishment reacted with dismay to Gottlieb’s early work on AIDS, believing it would tarnish the reputation of the Medical Center. Denied promotion and tenure in 1987, Gottlieb left UCLA for private practice just as the National Institutes of Health awarded the institution a $10 million grant for work he had pioneered there. In the thirty-five years since the discovery of AIDS, research, prevention, and clinical care have advanced to the point that the disease is no longer the death sentence it once was. Gottlieb’s seminal article is now regarded by the New England Journal of Medicine as one of the most significant publications of its two-hundred-year history. A Plague on All Our Houses offers a ringside seat to one of the most important medical discoveries and controversies of our time.
Preaching Prevention examines the controversial U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiative to “abstain and be faithful” as a primary prevention strategy in Africa. This ethnography of the born-again Christians who led the new anti-AIDS push in Uganda provides insight into both what it means for foreign governments to “export” approaches to care and treatment and the ways communities respond to and repurpose such projects. By examining born-again Christians’ support of Uganda’s controversial 2009 Anti-Homosexuality Bill, the book’s final chapter explores the enduring tensions surrounding the message of personal accountability heralded by U.S. policy makers.
Preaching Prevention is the first to examine the cultural reception of PEPFAR in Africa. Lydia Boyd asks, What are the consequences when individual responsibility and autonomy are valorized in public health initiatives and those values are at odds with the existing cultural context? Her book investigates the cultures of the U.S. and Ugandan evangelical communities and how the flow of U.S.-directed monies influenced Ugandan discourses about sexuality and personal agency. It is a pioneering examination of a global health policy whose legacies are still unfolding.
In Reframing Bodies, Roger Hallas illuminates the capacities of film and video to bear witness to the cultural, political, and psychological imperatives of the AIDS crisis. He explains how queer films and videos made in response to the AIDS epidemics in North America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa challenge longstanding assumptions about both historical trauma and the politics of gay visibility. Drawing on a wide range of works, including activist tapes, found footage films, autobiographical videos, documentary portraits, museum installations, and even film musicals, Hallas reveals how such “queer AIDS media” simultaneously express both immediacy and historical consciousness. Queer AIDS media are neither mere ideological critiques of the dominant media representation of homosexuality and AIDS nor corrective attempts to produce “positive images” of people living with HIV/AIDS. Rather, they perform complex, mediated acts of bearing witness to the individual and collective trauma of AIDS.
Challenging the entrenched media politics of who gets to speak, how, and to whom, Hallas offers a bold reconsideration of the intersubjective relations that connect filmmakers, subjects, and viewers. He explains how queer testimony reframes AIDS witnesses and their speech through its striking combination of direct address and aesthetic experimentation. In addition, Hallas engages recent historical changes and media transformations that have not only displaced queer AIDS media from activism to the archive, but also created new witnessing dynamics through the logics of the database and the remix. Reframing Bodies provides new insight into the work of Gregg Bordowitz, John Greyson, Derek Jarman, Matthias Müller, and Marlon Riggs, and offers critical consideration of important but often overlooked filmmakers, including Jim Hubbard, Jack Lewis, and Stuart Marshall.
Risky Rhetoric: AIDS and the Cultural Practices of HIV Testing is the first book-length study of the rhetoric inherent in and surrounding HIV testing. In addition to providing a history of HIV testing in the United States from 1985 to the present, J. Blake Scott explains how faulty arguments about testing’s power and effects have promoted unresponsive and even dangerous testing practices for so-called healthy subjects as well as those deemed risky. A new afterword to the paperback edition discusses changes in testing technology, treatments, and public health responses in the last ten years. The ultimate goal of Risky Rhetoric is to offer strategies to policy makers, HIV educators and test counselors, and other rhetors for developing more responsive and egalitarian testing-related rhetorics and practices.
In Stagestruck noted novelist and outspoken critic Sarah Schulman offers an account of her growing awareness of the startling similarities between her novel People in Trouble and the smash Broadway hit Rent. Written with a powerful and personal voice, Schulman’s book is part gossipy narrative, part behind-the-scenes glimpse into the New York theater culture, and part polemic on how mainstream artists co-opt the work of “marginal” artists to give an air of diversity and authenticity to their own work. Rising above the details of her own case, Schulman boldly uses her suspicions of copyright infringement as an opportunity to initiate a larger conversation on how AIDS and gay experience are being represented in American art and commerce. Closely recounting her discovery of the ways in which Rent took materials from her own novel, Schulman takes us on her riveting and infuriating journey through the power structures of New York theater and media, a journey she pursued to seek legal restitution and make her voice heard. Then, to provide a cultural context for the emergence of Rent—which Schulman experienced first-hand as a weekly theater critic forthe New York Press at the time of Rent’s premiere—she reveals in rich detail the off- and off-off-Broadway theater scene of the time. She argues that these often neglected works and performances provide more nuanced and accurate depictions of the lives of gay men, Latinos, blacks, lesbians and people with AIDS than popular works seen in full houses on Broadway stages. Schulman brings her discussion full circle with an incisive look at how gay and lesbian culture has become rapidly commodified, not only by mainstream theater productions such as Rent but also by its reduction into a mere demographic made palatable for niche marketing. Ultimately, Schulman argues, American art and culture has made acceptable a representation of “the homosexual” that undermines, if not completely erases, the actual experiences of people who continue to suffer from discrimination or disease. Stagestruck’s message is sure to incite discussion and raise the level of debate about cultural politics in America today.
Starting at the beginning of the twentieth century, Albuquerque examines the way the Modernist movement both fueled and inhibited the use of gay imagery in Brazilian drama. This elegant and fluid study ultimately becomes an examination of a whole Latin society, and the ways in which Latin theatre has absorbed and reflected the culture's own changing sensibilities, that will intrigue anyone interested in Latin American culture, literature, or theater.