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By Thomas L. Long

Looks at how either anti-gay and AIDS activists use apocalyptic language to explain the AIDS crisis.

Since public discourse approximately AIDS begun in 1981, it has characterised AIDS as an apocalyptic plague: a punishment for sin and an indication of the tip of the area. Christian fundamentalists had already configured the homosexual male inhabitants such a lot visibly plagued by AIDS as apocalyptic signifiers or indicators of the "end times." Their discourse grew out of a centuries-old American apocalypticism that incorporated photographs of concern, destruction, and supreme renewal. during this booklet, Thomas L. lengthy examines the ways that homosexual and AIDS activists, artists, writers, scientists, and reporters appropriated this apocalyptic rhetoric for you to mobilize recognition to the clinical quandary, hinder the unfold of the ailment, and deal with the HIV infected.

utilizing the analytical instruments of literary research, cultural experiences, functionality idea, and social semiotics, AIDS and American Apocalypticism examines many types of discourse, together with fiction, drama, functionality artwork, demonstration images and brochures, biomedical guides, and journalism and indicates that, whereas at the beginning worthy, the results of apocalyptic rhetoric within the long-term are harmful. one of the very important figures in AIDS activism and the humanities mentioned are David Drake, Tim Miller, Sarah Schulman, and Tony Kushner, in addition to the organisations ACT UP and Lesbian Avengers.

"Beyond being an incredible examine the impact of religiously encouraged rhetoric on LGBT lives, this e-book is usually a powerful documentation of queer responses to HIV/AIDS within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineties, and a highly worthy repository and remembrance of artwork and activism within the face of loss." — GLQ: A magazine of Lesbian and homosexual Studies

“His attempt to ‘acknowledge the price of non secular discourse with out endorsing its claims to symbolize the true’ is a magnificent and critical insight.” — CHOICE

"Thomas L. lengthy bargains perceptive readings of modern novels and dramas and hyperlinks the dialogue to his broader argument. His insights and conclusions are sensible and positively aid one take into consideration the works in clean and illuminating ways." — Paul S. Boyer, Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford spouse to usa History

"This booklet is notable in its intensity of scholarship and interesting to read." — Susan J. Palmer, writer of AIDS as an Apocalyptic Metaphor in North America

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Extra resources for AIDS And American Apocalypticism: The Cultural Semiotics Of An Epidemic

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OK. This is a fairy tale. Maybe I can make up a new ending and maybe we’ll find our way out of the volcano” (328). In this fantasy, Miller returned to the demonstration at the Museum of Art (“Fuck this Jungian mythopoetic stuff. My queer friends are getting beat up back at the museum” [330]), the demonstrators force the governor out of office, and the marginalized make important advances into the new millennium, including electing a black lesbian president, who appoints Miller performance artist laureate.

Perhaps nothing so typifies American apocalypticism as our tendency to configure “normalized crises” in terms of war. Thus the fourth chapter examines the trope of Armageddon and the ease with which competing interests during the AIDS epidemic employed martial figures in order to mobilize a collective response. This chapter examines a variety of such instances—among AIDS organizations and militant (the word is advised) activists, ACT UP and its allied groups, Lesbian Avengers, right wing Christians—but pays particular attention to the fiction, journalism, and activism of Sarah Schulman.

When we construct our past and fantasize our future in terms of a prophetic and utopic mission, we are engaging in apocalyptic discourse. One does not need to believe in a religion or its prophecies to reproduce the language of apocalypticism. This mode of constructing meaning has become naturalized in our national language. 35 Composing an American apocalyptic genealogy fulfills two functions: to identify the ideological and discursive headwaters of today’s millennialism and to suggest affinities between past and current deployment of those fluid beliefs and languages, in particular the conflation of apocalyptic desires, sexual anxieties, and contagion.

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