Lecture, Central London, Thursday, 16 Feb 2023 - 18:00

AIDS: A Cultural History

Hand holding red AIDS awareness ribbon

AIDS is an example of a highly stigmatising ailment.

This lecture explores Susan Sontag’s aphorism that “metaphors kill”. Focussing on the period before the invention of antiretroviral drugs, the lecture also addresses questions of civil liberties, gender and sexuality, race, religion, and cultures of both harm and care. By paying attention to how hierarchies of grief were created and contested, it addresses questions of loss as well as solidarity.

Joanna Bourke

Professor Joanna Bourke

Professor of Rhetoric

Professor Bourke is Professor of Rhetoric at Gresham College.

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