Transcriptions

HIV, Science, and the Social

A collaborative forum for critical enquiry on HIV/AIDS and global health: experiment, ethics, and practice

Transcriptions Submissions

Welcome to Transcriptions, a new online forum on the critical intersections of HIV/AIDS, global health, and the social sciences.

As a collaborative forum, the site is designed as a space for scholars and activists, policy makers and practitioners working at the intersections of the biosciences, social sciences, public health, and humanities to engage in critical conversation and to take each other up on important issues that cross disciplinary divides – methodological, conceptual, and programmatic. In light of new developments in HIV research and in global health more broadly, there is an increasing interest in understanding how the life and statistical sciences conduct their work, as as well in learning from the humanistic and social sciences how people experience and respond to the HIV epidemic and other diseases.

Transcriptions seeks to trace evolving developments in HIV science and global health programs; connect social scientists, scholars in the humanities and biomedical and public health researchers; and encourage critical engagement with methodological, ethical, and philosophical questions on and around HIV science, interventions, and programming. As a project of Somatosphere, Transcriptions builds on the conversations emerging between these disciplines. And as a collaborative project, we’re hoping you will be part of this conversation.

We were inspired to start this forum after participating in the 1st International HIV Social Science and Humanities Conference in June 2011 in Durban (http://www.iaohss.org/).  At the current moment, there are important new scientific advances in the field of HIV prevention and treatment; new techniques in modelling disease incidence and interventions; new political alignments (both globally and locally) in global health programs; and new willingness to engage in conversation with the social sciences and humanities, drawing on decades of close observation. Will this be a period in which major strides are made in combating the HIV epidemic and other diseases because social, political, clinical, and biological evidence is combined in equitable, just and effective interventions? Or will it be a moment of increasing biomedicalization, of new modes of subjection and exclusion, and of a security-based logic of population control? Encouraged by the fiery call to arms from the conference organisers and participants and the nascent rapprochement between life scientists, medics, and social scientists attending the conference, we have decided to create this site in order to carry these conversations forward and expand them into broader networks.

As editors for Transcriptions, we’re working with a dynamic group of scholars, practitioners, and activists across disciplines and modes of intervention.The forum will review relevant scholarly articles (In the Journals) and important new books (On the Shelves); share interviews and conversations with key scholars (Dialogues); collect and summarize print and web news (Broadsheets); post information about conferences, seminars, and other relevant event (Announcements); and solicit in-depth analyses of hot and emerging issues (Emerging Issues). In addition to the Categories, we will feature an ongoing series on specific topics. Currently, the series include History and HIV/AIDS, Keywords, and Methodologies, and more will be coming soon. The site is not our personal soap-box, but a collaborative enterprise, so we look forward to developing it with friends and colleagues.

If you’re involved in global health and HIV/AIDS work, whether as a scientist, practitioner, activist, or scholar, please get in touch with us and share your ideas at transcriptions@somatosphere.net