A Choice Significant University Press Titles for Undergraduates, 2005–2006
This history of the African AIDS epidemic is a much-needed, accessibly written historical account of the most serious epidemiological catastrophe of modern times. The African AIDS Epidemic: A History answers President Thabo Mbeki’s provocative question as to why Africa has suffered this terrible epidemic.
While Mbeki attributed the causes to poverty and exploitation, others have looked to distinctive sexual systems practiced in African cultures and communities. John Iliffe stresses historical sequence. He argues that Africa has had the worst epidemic because the disease was established in the general population before anyone knew the disease existed. HIV evolved with extraordinary speed and complexity, and because that evolution took place under the eyes of modern medical research scientists, Iliffe has been able to write a history of the virus itself that is probably unique among accounts of human epidemic diseases. In giving the African experience a historical shape, Iliffe has written one of the most important books of our time.
The African experience of AIDS has taught the world much of what it knows about HIV/AIDS, and this fascinating book brings into focus many aspects of the epidemic in the longer context of massive demographic growth, urbanization, and social change in Africa during the latter half of the twentieth century. The African AIDS Epidemic: A History is a brilliant introduction to the many aspects of the epidemic and the distinctive character of the virus.
AIDS Alibis tackles the cultural landscape upon which AIDS, often accompanied by poverty, drug addiction, and crime, proliferates on a global scale. Stephanie Kane layers stories of individuals and events -- from Chicago to Belize City, to cyberspace -- to illustrate the paths of HIV infection and the effects of environment, government intervention, and social mores. Linking ordinary yet kindred lives in communities around the globe, Kane challenges the assumptions underlying the use of police and courts to solve health problems.
The stories reveal the dynamics that determine how the policy decisions of white-collar health care professionals actually play out in real life. By focusing on life-changing social problems, the narratives highlight the contradictions between public health and criminal law. Look at how HIV has transformed our social consciousness, from intimate touch to institutional outreach. But, Kane argues, these changes are dwarfed by the United States's refusal to stop the war on drugs, in effect misdirecting resources and awareness.
AIDS Alibis combines empirical and interpretive methods in a path-breaking attempt to recognize the extent to which coercive institutional practices are implicated in HIV transmission patterns. Kane shows how th e virus feeds on the politics of inequality and indifference, even as it exploits the human need for intimacy and release.
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.
In the years since the end of apartheid, South Africans have enjoyed a progressive constitution, considerable access to social services for the poor and sick, and a booming economy that has made their nation into one of the wealthiest on the continent. At the same time, South Africa experiences extremely unequal income distribution, and its citizens suffer the highest prevalence of HIV in the world. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu has noted, “AIDS is South Africa’s new apartheid.”
In Ancestors and Antiretrovirals, Claire Laurier Decoteau backs up Tutu’s assertion with powerful arguments about how this came to pass. Decoteau traces the historical shifts in health policy after apartheid and describes their effects, detailing, in particular, the changing relationship between biomedical and indigenous health care, both at the national and the local level. Decoteau tells this story from the perspective of those living with and dying from AIDS in Johannesburg’s squatter camps. At the same time, she exposes the complex and often contradictory ways that the South African government has failed to balance the demands of neoliberal capital with the considerable health needs of its population.
Bleeder: A Memoir
Shelby Smoak Michigan State University Press, 2013 Library of Congress RC642.S66 2013 | Dewey Decimal 616.15720092
I am Caucasian, five foot eleven, have sandy brown hair, blue eyes, and am a tender slip of bone. And I am at the hospital.
A coming-of-age memoir for modern times, Bleeder is the incredibly compelling tale of author Shelby Smoak. A hemophiliac, Smoak discovered he had been infected with HIV during a blood transfusion at the start of his college career. This devastating and destabilizing news led Smoak to see his world from an entirely new perspective, one in which life-threatening illness was perpetually just around the corner. Set in the 1990s along the North Carolina coast, Bleeder traces Smoak’s quest for love in a world that feels increasingly dangerous, and despite a future that feels increasingly uncertain. From the bedroom to the operating room, and from one hospital to the next, Smoak seeks out hope and better health. Winner of a PEN American Center award for writers living with HIV, Smoak, whose work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, constructs this unforgettable story of life and love against insurmountable difficulties in breathtaking, tightly drawn prose.
A few short years after HIV first entered the world blood supply in the late 1970s and early 1980s, over half the hemophiliacs in the United States were infected with the virus. But this was far more than just an unforeseeable public health disaster. Negligent doctors, government regulators, and Big Pharma all had a hand in this devastating epidemic.
Blood on Their Hands is an inspiring, firsthand account of the legal battles fought on behalf of hemophiliacs who were unwittingly infected with tainted blood. As part of the team behind the key class action litigation filed by the infected, young New Jersey lawyer Eric Weinberg was faced with a daunting task: to prove the negligence of a powerful, well-connected global industry worth billions. Weinberg and journalist Donna Shaw tell the dramatic story of how idealistic attorneys and their heroic, mortally-ill clients fought to achieve justice and prevent further infections. A stunning exposé of one of the American medical system’s most shameful debacles, Blood on Their Hands is a rousing reminder that, through perseverance, the victims of corporate greed can sometimes achieve great victory.
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.
AIDS is now the leading cause of death in Africa, where twenty-eight million people are HIV-positive, and where some twelve million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS. In Zimbabwe, 45 percent of children under the age of five are HIV-positive, and the epidemic has shortened life expectancy by twenty-two years. A fifteen-year-old in Botswana or South Africa has a one-in-two chance of dying of AIDS. AIDS deaths are so widespread in sub-Saharan Africa that small children now play a new game called “Funerals.”
The Children of Africa Confront AIDS depicts the reality of how African children deal with the AIDS epidemic, and how the discourse of their vulnerability affects acts of coping and courage. A project of the Institute for the African Child at Ohio University, The Children of Africa Confront AIDS cuts across disciplines and issues to focus on the world's most marginalized population group, the children of Africa.
Editors Arvind Singhal and Stephen Howard join conversations between humanitarian and political activists and academics, asking, “What shall we do?” Such discourse occurs in African contexts ranging from a social science classroom in Botswana to youth groups in Kenya and Ghana. The authors describe HIV/AIDS in its macro contexts of vulnerable children and the continent's democratization movements and also in its national contexts of civil conflict, rural poverty, youth organizations, and agencies working on the ground.
Singhal, Howard, and other contributors draw on compelling personal experience in descriptions of HIV/AIDS interventions for children in difficult circumstances and present thoughtful insights into data gathered from surveys and observations concerning this terrible epidemic.
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.
Eight percent of our DNA contains retroviruses that are millions of years old. Anna Marie Skalka explains how our evolving knowledge of these particles has advanced genetic engineering, gene delivery systems, and precision medicine. Retroviruses cause disease but also hold clues to prevention and treatment possibilities that are anything but retro.
The American public responded to the first cases of AIDS with fear and panic. Both policymakers and activists were concerned not only with stopping the spread of the disease, but also with guiding the public’s response toward those already infected. Fatal Advice is an examination of how the nation attempted, with mixed results, to negotiate the fears and concerns brought on by the epidemic. A leading writer on the cultural politics of AIDS, Cindy Patton guides us through the thicket of mass-media productions, policy and public health enterprises, and activist projects as they sprang up to meet the challenge of the epidemic, shaping the nation’s notion of what safe-sex is and who ought to know what about it. There is the official story, and then there is another, involving local groups and AIDS activists. Going back to early government and activist attempts to spread information, Patton traces a slow separation between official advice and that provided by those on the front lines in the battle against AIDS. She shows how American anxieties about teen sex played into the nation’s inadequate education and protection of its young people, and chronicles the media’s attempts to encourage compassion without broaching the touchy subject of sex or disrupting the notion that AIDS was a disease of social and sexual outcasts. Her overview of the relationship between shifting medical perceptions and safe-sex advice reveals why radical safe-sex educators eventually turned to sexually explicit, including pornographic, representations to spread their message—and why even these extreme tactics could not overcome the misguided national teaching on AIDS. Patton closes with a stirring manifesto, an urgent call to action for all those who do not want to see the hard lessons of AIDS education and activism wasted, or, with these lessons, the loss of so many more lives.
The HIV epidemic in Bolivia has received little attention on a global scale in light of the country’s low HIV prevalence rate. However, by profiling the largest city in this land-locked Latin American country, Carina Heckert shows how global health-funded HIV care programs at times clash with local realities, which can have catastrophic effects for people living with HIV who must rely on global health resources to survive. These ethnographic insights, as a result, can be applied to AIDS programs across the globe.
In Fault Lines of Care, Heckert provides a detailed examination of the effects of global health and governmental policy decisions on the everyday lives of people living with HIV in Santa Cruz. She focuses on the gendered dynamics that play a role in the development and implementation of HIV care programs and shows how decisions made from above impact what happens on the ground.
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.
Amy Hoffman Duke University Press, 1997 Library of Congress RC607.A26R5364 1997 | Dewey Decimal 362.19697920092
Hospital Time is a memoir about friendship, family, and caregiving in the age of AIDS. Amy Hoffman, a writer, lesbian activist, and former editor of Gay Community News, chronicles with fury and unflinching honesty her experience serving as primary caretaker for her friend and colleague, Mike Riegle, who died from AIDS-related complications in 1992. Hoffman neither idealizes nor deifies Riegle, whom she portrays as a brilliant man, devoted prison rights activist, and very difficult friend. Hoffman became central to Riegle’s caregiving when he asked her to be his health-care proxy, and although she willingly chose to do this, she explores her conflicting feelings about herself in this role and about her involvement with Riegle and his grueling struggle with hospitalization, illness, and, finally, death. She tells of the waves of grief that echoed throughout her life, awakening memories of other losses, entering her dreams and fantasies, and altering her relationships with friends, family, and even total strangers. Hoffman’s memoir gives voice to the psychological and emotional havoc AIDS creates for those in the difficult role of caring for the terminally ill and it gives recognition to the role that lesbians continue to play in the AIDS emergency. A foreword by Urvashi Vaid, former executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, offers a meditation on the politics of AIDS and the role of family in the lives of lesbians and gay men.
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.
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.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has been a major catastrophe for gay communities. In less than two decades, the disease has profoundly changed the lives of gay men and lesbians. Not just a biological and viral agent, HIV has become an opportunistic social invader, reshaping communities and the distribution of wealth, altering the social careers of gay professionals and the patterns of entry into gay and lesbian life, and giving birth to groups like ACT UP and Queer Nation.
The distinguished contributors to this volume discuss the ways HIV/AIDS has changed collective and individual identities, as well as lives, of gay men and lesbians, and how these alterations have changed our perceptions of the epidemic. They cover such topics as the impact of the epidemic on small towns, cultural barriers to AIDS prevention, gay youth and intergenerational relations, and the roles of lesbians in AIDS organizations. This collection provides compelling insights into the new communities among gay men and lesbians and the new kinds of identities and relationships that are emerging from the social and cultural ferment engendered by HIV/AIDS.
Contributors include Barry D. Adam, Lourdes Arguelles, Rafael Miguel Diaz, John H. Gagnon, Gilbert Herdt, Gregory M. Herek, Nan D. Hunter, Peter M. Nardi, John L. Peterson, Anne Rivero, Gayle S. Rubin, Beth E. Schneider, and Nancy E. Stoller.
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.
AIDS activists are often romanticized as extremely noble and selfless. However, the relationships among HIV support group members highlighted in Landscapes of Activism are hardly utopian or ideal. At first, the group has everything it needs, a thriving membership, and support from major donors. Soon, the group undergoes an identity crisis over money and power, eventually fading from the scene. As government and development institutions embraced activist demands—decentralizing AIDS care through policies of health systems strengthening—civil society was increasingly rendered obsolete. Charting this transition—from subjects, to citizens, and back again—reveals the inefficacy of protest, and the importance of community resilience. The product of in-depth ethnography and focused anthropological inquiry, this is the first book on AIDS activists in Mozambique. AIDS activism’s strange decline in southern Africa, rather than a reflection of citizen apathy, is the direct result of targeted state and donor intervention.
Narrative non-fiction. A novel-like collection of compelling conversations between an HIV-positive nurse and other gay men with asymptomatic HIV. This book transports the reader into an urban world where gay men negotiated their sexuality, mortality, and health care between the decades of heady liberation and AIDS. See "inside flap" below.
The search for a “patient zero”—popularly understood to be the first person infected in an epidemic—has been key to media coverage of major infectious disease outbreaks for more than three decades. Yet the term itself did not exist before the emergence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. How did this idea so swiftly come to exert such a strong grip on the scientific, media, and popular consciousness? In Patient Zero, Richard A. McKay interprets a wealth of archival sources and interviews to demonstrate how this seemingly new concept drew upon centuries-old ideas—and fears—about contagion and social disorder.
McKay presents a carefully documented and sensitively written account of the life of Gaétan Dugas, a gay man whose skin cancer diagnosis in 1980 took on very different meanings as the HIV/AIDS epidemic developed—and who received widespread posthumous infamy when he was incorrectly identified as patient zero of the North American outbreak. McKay shows how investigators from the US Centers for Disease Control inadvertently created the term amid their early research into the emerging health crisis; how an ambitious journalist dramatically amplified the idea in his determination to reframe national debates about AIDS; and how many individuals grappled with the notion of patient zero—adopting, challenging and redirecting its powerful meanings—as they tried to make sense of and respond to the first fifteen years of an unfolding epidemic. With important insights for our interconnected age, Patient Zero untangles the complex process by which individuals and groups create meaning and allocate blame when faced with new disease threats. What McKay gives us here is myth-smashing revisionist history at its best.
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.
The Pox Lover is a personal history of the turbulent 1990s in New York City and Paris by a pioneering American AIDS journalist, lesbian activist, and daughter of French-Haitian elites. In an account that is by turns searing, hectic, and funny, Anne-christine d'Adesky remembers "the poxed generation" of AIDS—their lives, their battles, and their determination to find love and make art in the heartbreaking years before lifesaving protease drugs arrived.
D'Adesky takes us through a fast-changing East Village: squatter protests and civil disobedience lead to all-night drag and art-dance parties, the fun-loving Lesbian Avengers organize dyke marches, and the protest group ACT UP stages public funerals. Traveling as a journalist to Paris, an insomniac d'Adesky trolls the Seine, encountering waves of exiles fleeing violence in the Balkans, Haiti, and Rwanda. As the last of the French Nazis stand trial and the new National Front rises in the polls, d'Adesky digs into her aristocratic family's roots in Vichy France and colonial Haiti. This is a testament with a message for every generation: grab at life and love, connect with others, fight for justice, keep despair at bay, and remember.
Since the mid-1980s, Simon Watney has been one of the leading voices in the international field of HIV/AIDS education. His monthly column on AIDS in Britain’s Gay Times is the longest-running column of its kind in Europe, and he is actively involved in HIV/AIDS issues in the United States. His work constitutes a unique dialogue between European and American perspectives on the epidemic. Practices of Freedom brings together for the first time Watney’s pioneering writings on topics ranging from gay men’s Safer Sex education to racist coverage of AIDS in Africa in the international media, from the ethics of clinical drug trials to governmental policies concerning AIDS. Watney’s voice—neither neutral nor detached—is that of an active and influential participant in the fight against AIDS. He offers a unique view of the ways in which gay men working in community-based organizations have attempted to provide reliable and up-to-date services and information regarding AIDS treatment and health. A leader in insisting on gay men’s entitlements to education, care, and services, Watney was among the first to challenge the "de-gaying" of AIDS service organizations in the late eighties. He also devotes his attention to HIV/AIDS prevention work, research and treatment issues, and the wider cultural politics of the disease, including the role of language, television, and cinema. His analysis of the epidemic as it has unfolded provides a history of many of the major medical and political debates that have defined the course and extent of the crisis. Practices of Freedom demonstrates the failure of national institutions, from the government to the press, to understand and effectively fight this epidemic, and directs attention to the most urgent needs in American and international AIDS work. It will be an important primary resource, particularly in the United States, where effective community-based HIV/AIDS education tragically has often been neglected.
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.
Remembering the AIDS Quilt
Charles E. Morris III Michigan State University Press, 2011 Library of Congress NX180.A36R46 2011 | Dewey Decimal 362.196979200973
A collaborative creation unlike any other, the Names Project Foundation’s AIDS Memorial Quilt has played an invaluable role in shattering the silence and stigma that surrounded the epidemic in the first years of its existence. Designed by Cleve Jones, the AIDS Quilt is the largest ongoing community arts project in the world. Since its conception in 1987, the Quilt has transformed the cultural and political responses to AIDS in the U.S. Representative of both marginalized and mainstream peoples, the Quilt contains crucial material and symbolic implications for mourning the dead, and the treatment and prevention of AIDS. However, the project has raised numerous questions concerning memory, activism, identity, ownership, and nationalism, as well as issues of sexuality, race, class, and gender. As thought-provoking as the Quilt itself, this diverse collection of essays by ten prominent rhetorical scholars provides a rich experience of the AIDS Quilt, incorporating a variety of perspectives, critiques, and interpretations.
The Republic of Therapy tells the story of the global response to the HIV epidemic from the perspective of community organizers, activists, and people living with HIV in West Africa. Drawing on his experiences as a physician and anthropologist in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire, Vinh-Kim Nguyen focuses on the period between 1994, when effective antiretroviral treatments for HIV were discovered, and 2000, when the global health community acknowledged a right to treatment, making the drugs more available. During the intervening years, when antiretrovirals were scarce in Africa, triage decisions were made determining who would receive lifesaving treatment. Nguyen explains how those decisions altered social relations in West Africa. In 1994, anxious to “break the silence” and “put a face to the epidemic,” international agencies unwittingly created a market in which stories about being HIV positive could be bartered for access to limited medical resources. Being able to talk about oneself became a matter of life or death. Tracing the cultural and political logic of triage back to colonial classification systems, Nguyen shows how it persists in contemporary attempts to design, fund, and implement mass treatment programs in the developing world. He argues that as an enactment of decisions about who may live, triage constitutes a partial, mobile form of sovereignty: what might be called therapeutic sovereignty.
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.
Speech and Song at the Margins of Global Health tells the story of a unique Zulu gospel choir comprised of people living with HIV in South Africa, and how they maintained healthy, productive lives amid globalized inequality, international aid, and the stigma that often comes with having HIV. By singing, joking, and narrating about HIV in Zulu, the performers in the choir were able to engage with international audiences, connect with global health professionals, and also maintain traditional familial respect through the prism of performance. The focus on gospel singing in the narrative provides a holistic viewpoint on life with HIV in the later years of the pandemic, and the author’s musical engagement led to fieldwork in participants’ homes and communities, including the larger stigmatized community of infected individuals. This viewpoint suggests overlooked ways that aid recipients contribute to global health in support, counseling, and activism, as the performers set up instruments, waited around in hotel lobbies, and struck up conversations with passersby and audience members. The story of the choir reveals the complexity and inequities of global health interventions, but also the positive impact of those interventions in the crafting of community.
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.
Eric Michaels Duke University Press, 1997 Library of Congress RC607.A26M53 1997 | Dewey Decimal 362.19697920092
In 1982, the American-born anthropologist Eric Michaels went to Australia to research the impact of television on remote aboriginal communities. Over the next five years, until his death, he became a major intellectual presence in Australia. Unbecoming is Michaels’s gritty, provocative, and intellectually powerful account of living with AIDS—a chronicle of the last year of his life as he became increasingly ill. Michaels’s diary offers a forceful and ironic rumination on the cultural phenomenon of AIDS, how it relates to his concerns as both an anthropologist and a gay man, and the failure of medical and governmental institutions to come to terms with the disease. Like the AIDS testimony of artist David Wojnarowicz and filmmaker Derek Jarman, Unbecoming provides a view of the AIDS epidemic from a distinctly new vantage point.
Unstable Frontiers was first published in 1994. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
"John Erni's heartfelt and insightful book is a valuable contribution to the study of the cultural politics of AIDS."–Jeff Nunokawa Princeton University
The "cure" for AIDS: The search goes on, keeping pace with our belief that AIDS is incurable. How such a seeming paradox works-and how it may well work against the proper treatment of the disease-is the subject of Unstable Frontiers, a probing, critical look at the cultural politics behind the quest for a cure for AIDS.
This massive commercial and scientific project, John Erni suggests, actually hinges on our contradictory definitions of the disease as curable and incurable at the same time. Drawing on diverse sources, from popular media to medical literature to cultural theory, he shows how the dual discourse of curability/incurability frames the way we think about and act on issues of medical treatment for AIDS. His work makes a major advance in our understanding of—and, perhaps, humane response to—a national crisis.
In his critique of the logic and fantasies underlying the double definition of AIDS, Erni explores a broad range of issues: the scientific paradigm used to develop AZT; the politics of alternative treatment practices, of clinical drug trials, and of AIDS activism; and the notions of time and temporality operating in AIDS treatment science. He also addresses the problematic popular themes, such as "AIDS is invariably fatal" and "Knowledge = Cure."
Unique in its approach to a social and political issue still in the making, the book reveals how AIDS has challenged technomedicine's historical position of authority-and in doing so, recasts this challenge in a powerful and ultimately hopeful way.
John Nguyet Erni is assistant professor of communication at the University of New Hampshire. He has published essays on AIDS and is currently working on a book about AIDS in Thailand.
There is no question that AIDS has been, and continues to be, one of the most destructive diseases of the century, taking thousands of lives, devastating communities, and exposing prejudice and bigotry. But AIDS has also been a disease of transformation—it has fueled the national gay civil rights movement, altered medical research and federal drug testing, shaken up both federal and local politics, and inspired a vast cultural outpouring. Victory Deferred, the most comprehensive account of the epidemic in more than ten years, is the history of both the destruction and transformation wrought by AIDS.
John-Manuel Andriote chronicles the impact of the disease from the coming-out revelry of the 1970s to the post-AIDS gay community of the 1990s, showing how it has changed both individual lives and national organizations. He tells the truly remarkable story of how a health crisis pushed a disjointed jumble of local activists to become a nationally visible and politically powerful civil rights movement, a full-fledged minority group challenging the authority of some of the nation's most powerful institutions. Based on hundreds of interviews with those at the forefront of the medical, political, and cultural
responses to the disease, Victory Deferred artfully blends personal narratives with institutional histories and organizational politics to show how AIDS forced gay men from their closets and ghettos into the hallways of power to lobby and into the streets to protest.
Andriote, who has been at the center of national advocacy and AIDS politics in Washington, is judicious without being uncritical, and his account of the political maturation of the gay community is one of the most stirring civil rights stories of our time.
Victory Deferred draws on hundreds of original interviews, including first-hand accounts from: Virginia Apuzzo, Reverend Carl Bean, Marcus Conant, M.D., John D'Emilio, Anthony Fauci, M.D, Fenton Johnson, Larry Kramer, Lawrence D. Mass, M.D., Armistead Maupin, Walt Odets, Torie Osborn, Eric Rofes, Urvashi Vaid, Timothy Westmoreland, and Reggie Williams.
"[Victory Deferred] is a richly textured account of the rise of the AIDS sector, that though detailed and comprehensive, reads quickly. The thematic organization of the book works especially well. The clear chronology of the events reveals how competing models of service delivery, treatment activism and private-public cooperation were subsumed into a national AIDS movement. The book should prove excellent for teaching or recreational reading."—Jose Gabilondo, Washington Post
"[A] fine history of the epidemic. . . . Andriote shines with chapters on less-covered but no less important subjects, including the multibillion-dollar 'AIDS industry' and private fund-raising groups. He brings together in one place many facts and figures heretofore unsynthesized."—Joe R. Neel, Boston Globe
"While many books have explored aspects of the impact of AIDS, Victory Deferred is among the most comprehensive. Andriote's adroit integration of the personal and the historical results is an illustrative, analytical account of the disease and its impact on the gay civil-rights movement. His depiction of the poignant struggles, heroic responses and resultant social and political gains emanating from AIDS is a perceptive document for our time—relevant to all readers, regardless of their sexual orientation."—John R. Killacky, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"[A] well-researched and nuanced portrait of the many lives on which this grave disease has wrought both destruction and transformation."—Publishers Weekly
"Andriote combines broad strokes and telling details in this engaging history of the complicated war against both disease and bigotry."—Library Journal
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are ubiquitous in the Global South. Often international in origin, many attempt to assist local efforts to improve the lives of people often living in or near poverty. Yet their external origins often cloud their ability to impact health or quality of life, regardless of whether volunteers are local or foreign.
By focusing on one particular type of NGO—those organized to help prevent the spread and transmission of HIV in Kenya—Megan Hershey interrogates the ways these organizations achieve (or fail to achieve) their planned outcomes. Along the way, she examines the slippery slope that is often used to define “success” based on meeting donor-set goals versus locally identified needs. She also explores the complex network of bureaucratic requirements at both the national and local levels that affect the delicate relationships NGOs have with the state. Drawing on extensive, original quantitative and qualitative research, Whose Agency serves as a much-needed case study for understanding the strengths and shortcomings of participatory development and community engagement.