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 realm. Christian fundamentalists had already configured the homosexual male inhabitants such a lot visibly plagued by AIDS as apocalyptic signifiers or symptoms of the "end times." Their discourse grew out of a centuries-old American apocalypticism that integrated photographs of obstacle, destruction, and supreme renewal. during this e-book, Thomas L. lengthy examines the ways that homosexual and AIDS activists, artists, writers, scientists, and newshounds appropriated this apocalyptic rhetoric for you to mobilize cognizance to the scientific situation, hinder the unfold of the illness, and deal with the HIV infected.

utilizing the analytical instruments of literary research, cultural reports, functionality thought, and social semiotics, AIDS and American Apocalypticism examines many varieties of discourse, together with fiction, drama, functionality artwork, demonstration pix and brochures, biomedical courses, and journalism and exhibits that, whereas first and foremost invaluable, the consequences of apocalyptic rhetoric within the long-term are harmful. one of the vital figures in AIDS activism and the humanities mentioned are David Drake, Tim Miller, Sarah Schulman, and Tony Kushner, in addition to the companies ACT UP and Lesbian Avengers.

"Beyond being a huge examine the impression of religiously encouraged rhetoric on LGBT lives, this booklet can also be a powerful documentation of queer responses to HIV/AIDS within the 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 worth of spiritual discourse with out endorsing its claims to symbolize the genuine’ is a magnificent and significant insight.” — CHOICE

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

"This ebook is amazing 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 info for AIDS And American Apocalypticism: The Cultural Semiotics Of An Epidemic

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Moreover, the Puritans tended to view keeping the community free of defilement not simply as an ethical ideal, but as an existential necessity: a question of survival or doom. ”39 American apocalyptic expectations were quickened from the time of Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards, and the Great Awakening earlier in the eighteenth century toward the time of the Revolutionary War. Robert Fuller suggests that many colonists would have identified the Antichrist with the Church of Rome and in particular its French surrogates in North America; but after the French and Indian War, the British king himself came to be characterized as the beast.

122–23) The city is thus a place of both moral and medical contagion from which the pristinely innocent countryside must defend itself. Brown and his contemporaries made a variety of attempts to explain the source of the fever and to construct a meaning for the society afflicted with it. While many blamed outsiders (French emigrés from the revolution, Caribbean immigrants), a consensus developed attributing a local source. Mathew Carey’s contemporary account suggested that: Luxury, the usual, and perhaps inevitable concomitant of prosperity, was gaining ground in a manner very alarming to those who considered how far the virtue, the liberty, and the happiness of a nation depend on its temperance and sober manners.

It is in fact [a] synchronic bundle. . The past . . is recreated in terms not simply of a present . . but of a future. . This future is the performance being rehearsed, the “finished thing” to be made graceful through editing, repetition, and invention. Restored behavior is both teleological and eschatological. It joins first causes to what happens at the end of time. 8 My convergence of the exile trope and apocalyptic performativity brings onto this stage three cultural productions of the early 1990s that emerged from gay New Yorkers’ catastrophic losses to AIDS during the preceding decade: Tim Miller’s 1992 performance piece, My Queer Body; David Drake’s 1992 play The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me; and James McCourt’s 1993 novel, Time Remaining.

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