Event | Discussion

Online Event | KJCC/PASSO | Constructions of Contagion: Sickness and Health in Two Pandemics

Thursday, February 18, 2021, 6:00pm EST
This event was ONLINE and in ENGLISH

Dean Allbritton (Colby College)
Feeling Sick: The Early Years of AIDS in Spain

Dr. Allbritton examines the cultural history of the early years of AIDS in Spain (1981-1987) as it has been told through television and print media, ephemeral products of visual culture, fiction film, and the so-called risk groups that lived through the epidemic. Taking up Raymond Williams’ ‘structure of feeling’, he argues that a structure of feeling sick emerges in these early years of AIDS in Spain; it is alternately a sense of living through historicity, a gesticulation away from sick groups, a banding together in illness, a reactionary abandonment of hope, and a revolutionary turn towards the future. It is through illness—through HIV/AIDS—that this potential is brought about.

Bio: Dean Allbritton (Associate Professor of Spanish at Colby College) teaches courses on Spanish cinema, culture, and gender and sexuality. His work analyzes representations of illness and health in contemporary Spanish culture as political metaphors of national wellbeing. His current book project, Feeling Sick: The Early Years of AIDS in Spain, explores the cultural history of HIV/AIDS in Spain through visual culture and ephemera of the time. He has published articles in The Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Revista de estudios hispánicos, and Hispanic Research Journal, among others.

Miguel Caballero (Northwestern University)
Adherence and/as Addiction

Dr. Caballero presents a new work-in-progress that brings HIV activism in contact with scholarly thinking and writing. The project develops a different method of thinking through and theorizing HIV-AIDS. Following his own diagnosis in 2015, he started writing the blog ASS (Amor, Sexo, Serología), where he shared personal narratives and interviews with HIV-positive people or people working with/studying HIV in the Spanish speaking world from the perspective of human relations, desire, pleasure, politics, and love.

Bio: Miguel Caballero (Assistant Professor of Peninsular Studies, Northwestern University) is interested in different articulations of (self-) preservation and (self-) destruction. His current book project is on the experimental protection of the monumental patrimony in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. His next book, tentatively entitled El macho antiretroviral, explores the AIDS pandemics after the development of effective antiretroviral medication and the chronification of HIV. He has curated exhibitions for the Schusev State Museum of Architecture in Moscow and the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern in Spain.

Discussant/moderator: Lina Meruane (New York University)

Bio: Lina Meruane (New York University) is an award-winning Chilean writer and scholar. She has published a host of short stories and five novels. Translated by Megan McDowell into English are her latest: Seeing Red, which was awarded The Premio Valle Inclan Prize for translation, and Nervous System. She has written several non-fiction books, among which is her essay on the impact and representation of the AIDS epidemic in Latin American literature, Viral Voyages.