USSY 293R: Representing the AIDS Crisis
In this course, we will examine how the AIDS Crisis of the 1980s and 1990s was represented in American literature, film, and art, and how authors and artists engaged imaginatively with the Crisis. As we examine a number of works that represent the AIDS Crisis, our inquiry will focus on the following questions: How do activists use literary and artistic works for political and social change? How do artists and writers use and represent activism in their works? More specifically, what role does metaphor play in how HIV/AIDS is understood? What are the ethics of representing the AIDS Crisis? Is it unethical for writers and artists to use tragic events imaginatively?
To answer these questions, we will examine a variety of representations of the Crisis across a number of genres, notably novels, short stories, zines, films, and conceptual art. The texts under examination represent a variety of perspectives on the topic of HIV/AIDS, from activists and artists, members of the LGBTQ community, racial and ethnic minorities, and differing socioeconomic classes. By comparing these genres, we trace the often-conflicting strategies used by authors and artists for representing the AIDS Crisis. Theoretical texts will introduce students to queer perspectives, concepts of testimonial writing and bearing witness to tragic events, the uses of the imagination in creating art and literature, and the functioning of metaphor in art and society.
Dates: June 4-July 30, 2018
Session: 8 Week Session
Time: MWTh 2:30-4:00p
Instructor: Michael Chiappini
Credits: 3 credits
Departments: New 2018 Summer, SAGES