iLGBT Fall Symposium - Dis-Orienting AIDS Discourse - The 3rd Annual James J. Leos Symposium

Friday, October 30, 2015 -
9:00am to 6:00pm
Events take place in the Kiva Room of the UA Student Union

 “Dis-Orienting AIDS Discourse” will bring together nationally-recognized scholars and activists to consider the ways that AIDS politics and knowledge are being reorganized now, especially as the master tropes of sexuality and risk are increasingly displaced (but not erased) by sustained attention to racism and the embodiment of structured social violence.  By broadening the lens through which it is often perceived, this symposium will explore how the AIDS epidemic has not only manifested itself within social inequalities but has itself been a means of reproducing racial, gendered, and sexual inequalities through the enactment of criminalization, environmental destruction, reproductive violence, memorialization, prevention, and care. The 3rd Annual James J. Leos Symposium, responds to Mr. Leos’ charge to examine the inequalities in life-chances for LGBT peoples in his gifts to the Institute for LGBT Studies, and to the continuing role that discourses on sexuality play within popular, activist, and scientific understandings of the AIDS epidemic.

The symposium is free, but we would like to get a head count for provided lunch, so please take a moment to register.


Adam Geary is Associate Professor in Gender & Women's Studies and Affiliate Faculty of the UA Institute for LGBT Studies.  His research brings AIDS studies into critical conversations with black studies, Foucauldian studies, and queer studies.  His recent book, Antiblack Racism and the AIDS Epidemic: State Intimacies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), examines the role of antiblack state violence in producing the social vulnerability and embodied susceptibility to HIV infection that have organized the US AIDS epidemic. Professor Geary received his Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2004.

Che Gossett is a Black trans/femme archivist and activist.  They are at PhD candidate in Gender Studies at Rutgers University and the Student Coordinator and Community Archivist at Barnard Center for Research on Women.  They are the recipient of the 2014 Gloria E. Anzaldúa Award from the American Studies Association Women’s Committee, a Radcliffe research grant from Harvard University and the 2014 Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies from the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies at the City University of New York.  They have published work in Death and Other Penalities, Queer Necropolitics, The Transgender Studies Reader, Captive Genders, Verso books blog, and Jadalliyya.

Eva Hayward is an assistant professor in Gender & Women's Studies at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Her research focuses on aesthetics, environmental and science studies, and transgender theory. She has recently published articles in Transgender Studies Quarterly, differences, Cultural Anthropology, Parallax, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Women and Performance,and GLQ. Her book, "SymbioSeas," on underwater representations and trans-species mediations is forthcoming.

Alexandra Juhasz has been making and thinking about AIDS activist video since the mid-80s. She is the author of AIDS TV: Identity, Community and Alternative Video (Duke, 1995) and many more recent essays about the changing shape of the representation of AIDS including:  “From the Scenes of Queens: Genre, AIDS and Queer Love,” in The Cinema of Todd Haynes, “So Many Alternatives: The Alternative AIDS Video Movement,” From ACT UP to the WTO, “Forgetting ACT UP,” ACT UP 25 Forum, Quarterly Journal of Speech, “AIDS Video: To Dream and Dance with the Censor, Jump Cut,  She was a guest editor for APLA's Corpus V: Women, Gay Men and AIDS (March 2006) and is interviewed in the ACT UP Oral History project online. As a videomaker, she has made a large number of AIDS educational videos including Living with AIDS: Women and AIDS (1987), Safer and Sexier: A College Student's Guide to Safer Sex (1991), and most recently, Video Remains (2005). She is a Professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College.

Canadian born Theodore (Ted) Kerr is a Brooklyn based writer and organizer whose work focuses on HIV/AIDS. He was the programs manager at Visual AIDS from 2011 to 2014. He completed his BA at The New School for Public Engagement concentrated on the role of the writer in the world. He is currently at Union Theological Seminary working towards his Masters, looking at the intersection of culture, social justice and HIV/AIDS.

Naina Khanna serves as Executive Director of Positive Women's Network - USA, a national membership body of women living with HIV.  She also serves on the Board of Directors for AIDS United, the Steering Committee for the US People Living with HIV Caucus, the Steering Committee for the 30 for 30 Campaign, and served on President Obama’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) from 2010 - 2014.  A national speaker, trainer, and advocate, Naina has worked in the HIV field since 2005. Prior to working in HIV, Ms. Khanna co-founded and served as National Field Director for the League of Pissed Off Voters, a progressive electoral organizing project focused on increasing political participation by young people and communities of color.

Organized by Adam Geary, Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee for the UA Institute for LGBT Studies

Sponsored by The University of Arizona's Institute for LGBT Studies, Africana Studies, The School of Anthropology, Gender and Women's Studies, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Institute of the Environment, as well as our community Partners Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network, Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, and Pima County Health Department.


9:00am                        Welcome:  Susan Stryker, Director of The Institute for LGBT Studies
9:30am                        Opening:  Adam Geary, Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies
10:15am                      Break
10:30am-12:30pm     Invited Reflections:

♦  Alexandra Juhasz, Media Studies, Pitzer College
♦  Che Gossett, Gender Studies, Rutgers University
♦  Naina Khanna, Executive Director, Positive Women’s Network–US

12:30-2pm                    Lunch (provided w/ free registration)

2:00pm                           Reconvene
2:15-3:30pm                  Invited Reflections:

♦  Theodore Kerr, Union Theological Seminary
♦  Eva Hayward, Gender & Women’s Studies, University of Arizona

3:30pm                            Break
3:45-5:30pm                   Roundtable and Open Discussion with the audience
5:30pm                            Conclusion and thanks