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Oral history, memory, and the social organization of forgetting​ - The AIDS Activist History Project


Friday, October 28, 2016 - 15:00 to 17:00
Gary Kinsman and Alexis Shotwell

*This workshop will take place in English

In collaboration with the Concordia University Community Lecture Series on HIV/AIDS

In this interactive workshop Gary Kinsman and Alexis Shotwell will discuss the work of the AIDS Activist History Project to document the history of Canadian AIDS activism. Working in collaboration with the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives and AIDS activist organizations across the country, the AIDS Activist History Project seeks to document the oral histories of those who have struggled – and many who continue to struggle – against the criminalization and stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS.

For Kinsman and Shotwell, engaging with oral histories means engaging with questions regarding the social character of memory and remembering. Their research practice makes visible a vibrant history of AIDS organizing that has largely been been forgotten. Moreover, it seeks to challenge the social organization which facilitates the forgetting of the roots of AIDS activism - especially in its more direct-action- oriented forms. The particular focus of this workshop will be on Kinsman and Shotwell’s first wave of interviews regarding AIDS activism in Montreal with a focus on Reaction SIDA and ACT UP Montreal.

Gary Kinsman is a long-time queer liberation, AIDS, anti-poverty, and anti-capitalist activist living on indigenous land. He is currently involved in the AIDS Activist History Project, with Queer Trans Community Defence and the We Demand an Apology Network. He is the author of The Regulation of Desire (Black Rose Books, 1996), co-author (with Patrizia Gentile) of The Canadian War on Queers (UBC Press, 2010), and editor of Whose National Security? (Between the Lines, 2000) and Sociolo- gy for Changing the World (Fernwood Publishing, 2006). He is currently working on a new book called The Making of the Neo- Liberal Queer.  ​

Alexis Shotwell is an associate professor at Carleton University, on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory. Her politi- cal work focuses on queer liberation, indigenous solidarity and decolonization, and feminist community education. She is the author of Knowing Otherwise: Race, Gender, and Implicit Understanding (Penn State Press, 2011) and Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times (Minnesota University Press, 2016). She has published in Signs, Hypatia, The International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics and Sociological Theory. Her academic work addresses racial formation, disabili- ty, unspeakable and unspoken knowledge, sexuality, gender, and political transformation.

LB-1019, 1400 de Maisonneuve West, Montreal, QC

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