History and HIV on Transcriptions

In the Transcriptions series History and HIV, we would like to explore and discuss the various ways in which the past matters in the present HIV epidemic. Firstly how can we historicize HIV? That is, how to understand the virus, its emergence and the current epidemic historically over the long XXth century – taking HIV as a character of what Michel Foucault called a “biohistory”. We are especially interested in discussing approaches that use phylogenetic methods (including  “molecular clock” or other dating techniques) that enable the bridging of evolutionary and social sciences, and to reconstitute the global spread of the virus and the biosocial factors that drove it. Contributions from anthropologists and historians reviewing and contributing to debates on the historical epidemiology of HIV and its link to political economy, and on so-called theories of “AIDS origin” would be welcome.

Secondly, we would like to follow on classic anthropological critiques that locate AIDS control within a genealogy of public health (e.g. Fassin, Dozon, Epstein, Packard, Porter), revealing how the “burden of the past” shapes epidemiological categories, control strategies and bioscientifc as well as anthropological thinking. How can the history of colonial and postcolonial medicine and of international public health help us problematize the current global health era?

Thirdly, this section will be a place to discuss memories, of lives lost and fights won, and the ways they shape contemporary experiences.

Submit contributions, questions, and suggestions for the series to transcriptions@somatosphere.net

History and HIV Editor: Guillaume Lachenal

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