“[I]f we cannot stop to remember those who have died, why should we bother to try to understand the whole story of AIDS at all?” (Watney, 20)*
Drawing on the success of last year’s double panel on AIDS representation in film, the organizer issues this call for papers for the Milwaukee MMLA. Given the theme of this year’s convention, “History, Memory, Exile,” this proposed panel seeks to investigate how the deceased AIDS subject is remembered, represented and/or memorialized.
Issues of concern and inquiry include (the list is suggestive, not exhaustive):
Recovering “forgotten” AIDS subjects, those individuals whose deaths have gone largely unnoticed and unheralded in mainstream culture
Putative AIDS “icons,” e.g. Ryan White, Rock Hudson and others who have managed to avoid falling into the merciless maw of non-representation
The politics of cultural memorialization that position non-AIDS deaths as (arguably) more consequential than those of persons with AIDS
The dangers of exiling the deceased AIDS individual to the margins of cultural memory
Examinations of the nature of representation of deceased AIDS individuals in cultural media
Unusual and unexpected forms of remembering individuals who have died from AIDS
Submit abstracts and/or full-length papers by March 20, 2005 to Chris Bell at the e-mail address provided below. Questions and ideas for papers and presentations are welcome.
Note: In order to present at the MMLA Convention, participants must remit organization membership and conference dues to the organization by June 1, 2005. Full details about this painless process, as well as the convention in toto, are available at the MMLA website: www.uiowa.edu/~mmla.
*Watney, Simon. Imagine Hope: AIDS and Gay Identity. New York and London: Routledge, 2000.
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