Gender Studies | Graduate Topics in Gender Studies: The Cultural Politics of HIV/AIDS
G701 | 18293 | Bailey, M


After nearly three decades of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, its impact on
populations throughout the globe has been devastating.  While
biomedicine, epidemiology, and public health shape the dominant
knowledges of and approaches to the disease, the application of
cultural studies analyses have been limited, particularly within
public health arenas.  In this course, we will begin with a basic
premise: HIV is not only a retrovirus; rather, it is a powerful and
complicated cultural, social, and political actor shaping how humans
live and relate in the world today.  Therefore this course
necessarily takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of
HIV/AIDS, primarily drawing from cultural theories (mostly feminist,
queer, and queer of color critique) to analyze the impact of the
pandemic on populations not only in the U.S., but also in various
social geographies throughout the globe.  We will interrogate the
impact of the pandemic using intersecting analytic categories, such
as race/ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality, class, and disease.
For example, we will investigate differences between how the virus
is represented, and what is actually happening “on the ground”
among “targeted populations,” and prevention and treatment
communities.  Students from a whole range of fields and disciplines
are encouraged to enroll.  Although the primary object of
examination is HIV/AIDS, the course is concerned with the category
of disease in general.  Overall, we will engage scholarship from a
diverse range of fields and methodologies such as medical sociology,
political science, human geography, history, performance studies,
ethnography, psychology, gender and sexuality studies, literature,
epidemiology, and other forms of public health inquiry.