In the first decades of the AIDS crisis (1980s through the mid-1990s), vital struggles over the meanings, definitions and representations of AIDS sought to unite culture analysis with cultural activism. Now that the world is gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic, how has the significance of that analysis and activism shifted? How does the present experience of a new, seemingly untreatable virus affect our comprehension of the representations and contested meanings of AIDS, a different pandemic that once held global attention? What remains of the urgency with which critical discourses once contested dominant understandings of "AIDS"?
Papers should engage the intersections of politics, culture, and representation within conceptual frameworks such as critical race theory, disability studies, postcolonial studies, affect theory, etc. Papers may focus on art and visual culture (for example, works by individual artists or collectives, recent museum or gallery exhibitions), theater (for example, revivals of AIDS plays from the 1980 such as Angels in America, The Normal Heart, Beirut), television and film (for example, plots and/or characters dealing with AIDS, film adaptations of AIDS plays, documentaries about AIDS activism).
Please submit complete articles (20-25 pages including notes) and a brief bio to Richard Block (email@example.com), firstname.lastname@example.org), and Mia du Plessis (email@example.com) by August 31, 2020. Please direct all questions to these contacts as well.