News and Upcoming Events

Monday, March 5, 2018: ‘In the Era of Silence=Death’ Panel at Bates College

A panel discussion on HIV/AIDS and activism featuring Erica Rand, Whitehouse Professor of Art and Visual Culture and of Gender and Sexuality Studies at Bates; Marika Cifor, postdoctoral fellow in gender, sexuality and women’s studies at Bowdoin College; and Ian Erickson ’18.

12:00 PM in Commons 221, Bates College


Wednesday, March 14: “Digital Embodiment: Theoretical and Methodological Interventions into Data, Race, Sensation, and the Corporeal” Panel at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference

Marika Cifor, Bowdoin College,  “Making HIV Visible: Representation, Embodiment, and Stigma on Dating Apps”

Stacy Wood, University of Pittsburgh, “Management Blues: Digital Media Labor Practices of Law Enforcement”

Tonia Sutherland, University of Alabama, “‘Slave to the Rhythm’: Embodied Labor, Carceral Archives, and Digital Resurrection”

Patricia Ciccone, University of California, Los Angeles,  “Sensational Labour: Defining and Performing Sensations on Commercial Social Networking Platforms”

3-4:45 PM at the Sheraton Centre Toronto


Monday, March 26, 2018: Works in Progress Seminar at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center

“‘Your Nostalgia is Killing Me!’: ACT UP Nostalgia, Historical Narratives, and their Meaning in the Present”

Marika Cifor, Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow, Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program, Bowdoin College

At this juncture nostalgia for ACT UP’s brand of visual, theatrical, and communal direct action abounds. Taking as a case the 2013 poster, “Your Nostalgia is Killing Me!” Marika Cifor analyzes the complicated and conflicted contemporary nostalgia for ACT UP’s radical queer politics, sense of community, and aesthetics. The poster features archival images of ACT UP actions amongst other now-iconic visuals of queer activism and AIDS cultural production. It sparked heated critical conversations between multiple generations of AIDS activists that extended from social media to the halls of the New York Public Library, and which foreground the fraught legacies of ACT UP/New York and of the AIDS crisis. Cifor argue that considering how quotidian aspects of daily life were affected by both HIV/AIDS and the activism created in response to it is crucial in understanding the desire for a collectively imagined, more socially engaged and communal past. The affective drag of nostalgia for ACT UP does not mean that anyone actually wants to revive or relive the death, discrimination, and mass destruction that marked the height of the AIDS crisis in the United States. However, the queer temporal practice of nostalgia for ACT UP’s brand of direct action AIDS activism, both on the part of those who participated and by younger generations who did not, has become a common language through which people express their disappointments and frustrations with the shortcomings of attention to AIDS and with LGBTQ politics and activism.

Discussants: Steve Dillon (Assistant Professor of Queer Studies, Hampshire College), Lezlie Frye (Lecturer and Associate Director of Graduate Studies in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, UMass Amherst) and Christian Gundermann (Chair and Associate Professor of Gender Studies, Mount Holyoke College)

6:00-8:00pm, FCWSRC, 83 College Street, Mount Holyoke College


June 5-7, 2018: The Social Life of Time: Power, Discrimination and Transformation.  The 1st Temporal Belongings International Conference. Supported by the Wellcome Trust. Edinburgh, Scotland.

Paper to be presented: “Archival Temporalities on Display: Undetectability, Outreach, and Programming in AIDS Archives.”


June 7-9, 2018: Biennial Surveillance Studies Network Conference. Aarhus, Denmark.

Paper to be presented: “Viral Surveillance: HIV Status Disclosure, New Media, and the Criminalization of Difference.”