Shifting the Stigma of HIV/AIDS

Steven Thrasher (Writer-at-Large for Guardian US and Henry M. MacCracken doctoral fellow in the department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University), Linda Villarosa (Author, Former Editor at the New York Times and Director of the Journalism Program at The City College of New York) , Viviane Namaste (Concordia University Research Chair in HIV/AIDS) and Ian Bradley Perrin (HIV/AIDS Activist, Advocate, and Policy Analyst) discuss the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS in a panel moderated by Sarah Schulman (Author, HIV/AIDS Historian).

Speaker Bios:

Steven Thrasher is a Writer-At-Large and Senior Opinion Columnist at the Guardian US and a Henry M. MacCracken doctoral fellow in the department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, where he is completing a PhD in American Studies. As a Contributing Editor at BuzzFeed, Steven won the 2015 Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism for his writing on HIV criminalization from the Gannett Foundation and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA). Steven has previously been awarded a Courage Award from the Anti-Violence Project, a James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism from Hunter College, and NLGJA’s 2012 Journalist of the Year Award for his writing in Out magazine, the Village Voice and the New York Times. Steven sits on the board of the American Sociological Association’s journal Contexts and has forthcoming academic articles in 2016 in that publication and in Radical History Review and the Journal of American History. He tweets @thrasherxy.

Linda Villarosa is a media studies professor and runs the journalism program at the City College of New York. As an editor at the New York Times, she wrote front-page articles on HIV/AIDS among African Americans. Formerly the executive editor of Essence Magazine, Linda wrote the first article on HIV/AIDS to run in an ethnic publication. An award-winning writer, Villarosa has presented lectures, workshops and training sessions for dozens of colleges and universities, national foundations, government bodies and journalism associations. She recently worked as a consulting producer on End Game, a PBS-Frontline documentary on AIDS in black America. A graduate of the University of Colorado, Linda spent a year at the Harvard School of Public Health as a journalism fellow. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Ian Bradley-Perrin is currently pursuing a PhD at Columbia University in Sociomedical Sciences and History. He holds an MA in History from Concordia University in which he explored the intersection of class and social activism in the context of ACT UP New York. Ian has worked as a community organizer in Montreal for the past seven years, co-founding four organizations dealing with social justice and HIV/AIDS health disparities through direct action, frontline service, and public education. Ian has also worked in critical curation of public history works on HIV/AIDS through a Fellowship at the Centre for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence. Most recently Ian has worked in policy analysis in his role as the Pedro Zamora Fellow at AIDS United in Washington, D.C. For his community engagement Ian was recognized in the POZ 100 list of people under 30 working to end HIV/AIDS and My Fabulous Disease’s 16 HIV Advocates to Watch in 2016.

Viviane Namaste is a Full Professor at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, and Research Chair in HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health, Concordia University. She is the author of several books including Oversight: Critical Reflections on Feminist Research and Politics (Toronto: Women’s Press, 2015), HIV Prevention and Bisexual Realities (co-author, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012), and Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000). She is currently researching the history of AIDS in Montréal’s Haitian communities in the 1980s.

Moderator: Sarah Schulman has covered AIDS since the early 1980s through journalism, fiction, plays, nonfiction, film and curation. Co-director of The of ACT UP Oral History Project, and co-producer of United In Anger: A History of ACT UP, her new book Conflict Is Not Abuse (forthcoming in October) includes HIV criminalization as an example of how overstating harm increases the illegitimate power of the state.

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