Gender, in what Katie Hogan and Nancy L. Roth call a Gendered Epidemic is not coincidental. They comment in the introduction to their anthology "An explosion of what theorist Cindy Patton calls a ‘new visibility of woman' in discussions of HIV infection has occurred in the last five years." Despite this new visibility, however, Hogan and Roth continue, "But this new visibility of ‘woman,' no matter how crucial, hard won, and necessary cannot explain the deeply entrenched historical silences and gendered distortions that characterized the first decade of the HIV pandemic, and that often continue to structure HIV/AIDS prevention efforts targeted toward women and representations of women and HIV/AIDS."
This panel seeks to address central questions about the textual representations of women and AIDS. How are women portrayed in AIDS texts? What role(s) do women play in the canonical AIDS texts? How have women authors, poets, and film makers addressed the historical omission of women within the larger AIDS narrative? How have their assertions changed AIDS? This panel is interested in papers which examine memoirs, fiction, poetry, film, song, and other textual representations of women and AIDS—from caregivers to women living with HIV and AIDS—as an integral part of the story of AIDS.
As one concrete example of this, Amber Hollibaugh critiques AIDS activists movements in My Dangerous Desires, A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home. Hollibaugh observes that the AIDS activist movement often perpetuated the idea that lesbians were immune from HIV. Holligbaugh asserts that this "simple picture" could only be maintained "by leaving a whole lot of women out: lesbians who work in the sex industry, others who sometimes had sex with men or used intravenous drugs. A whole lot of women on the edge."
Please submit 350 word abstracts to Dr. J. Elizabeth Clark by 15 September 2001. E-mailed submissions are preferred.
J. Elizabeth Clark
Fiorello H. LaGuardia Community College
Department of English/E-103
31-10 Thomson Ave.
Long Island City, NY 11101
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