Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Spring Colloquium: AIDS and Time: Queering and Decolonizing the Health Crisis

Professor Ivan Bujan is the Post-Doctoral Fellow in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Professor Marlon Bailey, Associate Professor Arizona State University will be the faculty respondent.

The success of the first antiretroviral therapies (ART) introduced in 1996 considerably prolonged the lives of people living with HIV, and in effect sparked conversations about a “post-crisis” time. Such discussions were reinstated with the 2012 approval of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill regimen that successfully prevents the contraction of HIV in over 90% of people who take it as prescribed. As was the case with ART, promotion of PrEP blatantly ignores problems of partial access to the pill in socio-economically vulnerable queer of color and Indigenous communities, and focuses instead on narratives of progress featuring affluent, predominantly white and cis-male gay consumers. With an aim to complicate post-crisis discourses, an early draft of a chapter in Dr. Bujan’s book manuscript analyzes case studies of Indigenous and queer of color artists and HIV prevention workers who call critical attention to the biased pharmaceutical politics of PrEP. The chapter displays how their performative interventions queer and decolonize the post-AIDS time, and enable a momentary departure from realities constrained by multiple forms of institutional violence. Such critical methodology in researching burgeoning cultures of PrEP allows us to pose alternative protagonists in the ongoing history of HIV/AIDS and demonstrates the continual promising role of aesthetics and performance in prevention, community care, and its life.

To register contact wgss@wustl.edu.  Paper will be provided 2 weeks before colloquium.