Project Details


'Post-AIDS Imaginaries: Configuring Speculative Futures in the Cultures of HIV Intervention’ addresses the transformation of HIV intervention imaginaries in contemporary queer AIDS media. I focus on three visual case studies where artists, film directors, and public health promoters’ experiment with images of AIDS pasts and presents to conceptualise and produce images of post-AIDS futures. I employ an interdisciplinary textual-speculative method, which draws on previous science and technology studies (STS) and queer cultural studies scholarship. This method allows me to articulate how post-AIDS futures are constituted by the entanglement of imagined social conditions and public health promotion strategies. My aim is to show how the meaning of health promotion and disease prevention is reconfigured within queer AIDS media to create new meanings about HIV intervention for the future. A critical post-AIDS analysis, I argue, can help researchers to rethink the terms and conditions of AIDS history and to create a critical relationship between the perceived past and desired futures. In previous scholarship, post-AIDS futures have been theorised as deterministic endpoints that gloss the social and cultural dimensions of the global AIDS pandemic. My research challenges this longstanding assertion and suggests that a critical theory of ‘post-AIDS imaginaries’ can more effectively account for transformations of technological progress within queer sexual cultures imagined futures with and beyond HIV transmission

Layman's description

This work brings together health promotion images from a wide range of sources – including marketing materials from public health institutions and charities, documentaries, and fictional films – to investigate how the ‘end of AIDS’ is being represented in the global north. By focusing on transformations in how people discuss HIV intervention and the tools to stop new HIV transmissions, this work demonstrates how messages about ‘ending AIDS’ are evolving through the development of new biomedicines. The thesis uses analytical frameworks from the social sciences and humanities to understand if/how professionals, artists, and community members work together to transform intervention strategies. The original contribution stems from the close assessment of social science and humanities perspectives about these transformations; it thus creates a hybrid analytical model that keeps the social sciences and humanities in conversation about the histories and futures of HIV/AIDS intervention. The central argument is that reading together the conflicting messages about what the ‘end of AIDS’ constitutes can help scholars and professionals to determine how populations impacted by HIV/AIDS in the global north perceive life conditions with chronic HIV and what social conditions they would like to see through decreases in transmission and the eradication of HIV. This work thus attends to the social and cultural dimensions of ‘post-AIDS’ health promotion as a strategy for healthcare reform
Short titlePost-AIDS
Effective start/end date1/09/181/09/22


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