AIDS and the Distribution of Crises engages with the AIDS pandemic as a network of varied historical, overlapping, and ongoing crises born of global capitalism and colonial, racialized, gendered, and sexual violence. Drawing on their investments in activism, media, anticolonialism, feminism, and queer and trans of color critiques, the scholars, activists, and artists in this volume outline how the neoliberal logic of “crisis” structures how AIDS is aesthetically, institutionally, and politically reproduced and experienced. Among other topics, the authors examine the writing of the history of AIDS; settler colonial narratives and laws impacting risk in Indigenous communities; the early internet regulation of both content and online AIDS activism; the Black gendered and sexual politics of pleasure, desire, and (in)visibility; and how persistent attention to white men has shaped AIDS as intrinsic to multiple, unremarkable crises among people of color and in the Global South.
Contributors. Cecilia Aldarondo, Pablo Alvarez, Marlon M. Bailey, Emily Bass, Darius Bost, Ian Bradley-Perrin, Jih-Fei Cheng, Bishnupriya Ghosh, Roger Hallas, Pato Hebert, Jim Hubbard, Andrew J. Jolivette, Julia S. Jordan-Zachery, Alexandra Juhasz, Dredge Byung'chu Kang-Nguyễn, Theodore (Ted) Kerr, Catherine Yuk-ping Lo, Cait McKinney, Viviane Namaste, Elton Naswood, Cindy Patton, Margaret Rhee, Juana María Rodríguez, Sarah Schulman, Nishant Shahani, C. Riley Snorton, Eric A. Stanley, Jessica Whitbread, Quito Ziegler
In the late 1970s, a Jeff Koons art exhibit featured mounted vacuum cleaners lit by fluorescent tube lighting and identified by their product names: New Hoover Quik Broom, New Hoover Celebrity IV. Raymond Carver published short stories such as “Are These Actual Miles?” that cataloged the furniture, portable air conditioners, and children’s bicycles in a family home. Some years later the garbage barge Mobro 4000 turned into an international scandal as it spent months at sea, unable to dump its trash as it was refused by port after port.
Tim Jelfs’s The Argument about Things in the 1980s considers all this and more in a broad study of the literature and culture of the “long 1980s.” It contributes to of-the-moment scholarly debate about material culture, high finance, and ecological degradation, shedding new light on the complex relationship between neoliberalism and cultural life.