[PAST EVENT] GSWS Brownbag with Jan Huebenthal

April 20, 2016
12pm - 1pm
Boswell Hall (formerly Morton Hall)
100 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
On ABC's popular show, How to Get Away with Murder, a storyline centered around PrEP (pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis) indicates that monogamous couple hood and personal accountability have become representational pillars of the new "homo normal." As medical advances have made HIV survival possible, narratives of "undetectable" viral loads often fail to account for the multiple layers of racial and political privilege from within they emerge. For example, African American men who have sex with men are eight times more likely than whites to be diagnosed with HIV, and one in two gay black men will likely be diagnosed with HIV in his lifetime.

In looking at diverse textual material, this talk develops a critique of the centrality of AIDS disavowal to mainstream LGBT politics. Indeed, narratives of undetectability rely on modes of personal responsibility that dominate current LGBT identity politics, which stress assimilation and state inclusion. As a result, an emphasis on personal responsibility ties HIV care and survival to racial political, and ultimately individual privilege. As I wonder about the ethical residues of the crusade for LGBT rights, I argue that access to the private spheres of marriage, child-rearing, and inheritance has come at the expense of the health of vulnerable populations.