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Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 3:00pm to 4:30pmVirtual Event
Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Cross-appointed with the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies and the Department of Philosophy at Carleton University, Ottawa
Calls to battle: Diagnosis, cure, and activism
Disease, illness, usually involve both diagnosis and an impulse towards cure. How we know illness is intertwined with what that illness is. Social and personal experience in turn shape the meaning and experience of being sick. The politics of disease may be especially evident when diagnoses are in formation, when an illness is unstable or shifting, and when our methods for knowing illness don’t, or don’t yet, help people experiencing disease. And things become more complex when bodily experiences lived by many disabled people, which are not inherently actually sickness, are medicalized. Ludwig Fleck wrote: “The social character inherent in the very nature of scientific activity is not without its substantive consequences. Words which formerly were simple terms become slogans; sentences which one were simple statements become calls to battle.”
In this paper, I look to the history of AIDS activism for accounts of how people made simple statements into calls for battle at the early points of diagnostic formation. Moving between the accounts of doctors treating AIDS and HIV and activists fighting for the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS in the early years, I consider how disability analysis can help us think about diagnoses-in-formation, activism, and the politics of care.
February 25, 2021
Video presentation will be shown at 3pm.
The video will be available the week before the talk for your private viewing if you cannot join us until the discussion.
Registration Required in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive an email containing information about joining the meeting.
Professor Shotwell is the author of Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and Knowing Otherwise: Race, Gender, and Implicit Understanding (Penn State Press, 2011). Her articles appear in Philosophy Compass, Signs, Hypatia, Sociological Theory and The International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics as well as range of edited volumes. She is currently the co-investigator for the AIDS Activist History Project. Website: alexisshotwell.com