Epidemics: The SHAPES of Global Disease
(Socio-Historical, Artistic and Political Expressions and Epidemiologies)
An Interdisciplinary Conference
“THE RADICAL POLITICS OF THE WORLD’S FIRST AIDS WARD”
When: Friday, February 23-25, 2017, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: California State University Fullerton, Steven G. Mihaylo Hall 1308
This talk sketches the circumstances—medical and social, local and national—that necessitated the creation of the world’s first dedicated AIDS ward. It is within that context that the foundational argument of my dissertation, A Caring Disease, lies: that the fact of the Ward 5B’s creation, and the intimate labor performed by its nurses, must be understood as radical political activism. In the context of a highly stigmatized epidemic, the nurses’ nontraditional approach to patient relations were as much a form of political messaging they were forms of care and empathy. Informed by a queer, feminist ethic, the ward was always and already a politicized space, as was (and is) the model of AIDS care its nurses pioneered. Finally, I demonstrate that the space the nurses created—and the kind of care they provided—was contingent on the patient population, and, accordingly, representative of larger social and political stratifications within the City of San Francisco.
CONFERENCE DESCRIPTION AVAILABLE HERE.
PROGRAM AVAILABLE HERE.