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GENDER TALKS: Kateřina Kolářová: The Asocial Body of Contagion: Discourses of AIDS and HIV in the Socialist Czechoslovakia (7.12.2011)


In 1988, the Czechoslovakian government tried and convicted an HIV positive (and homosexual) man of voluntarily spreading the virus. This talk argues that the historical and cultural context of late socialist Czechoslovakia complicates the 'epidemic of signification' around AIDS/HIV that we know from the West. The socialist discourses of the late 1980’s highlighted the 'HIV-infected asocial body' as the site of discursive trouble rather than the 'homosexual body'.

Reading the media reflections of the trial, I argue that the asocial body becomes a discursive tool to re-imagine the socialist community. 'The asocial body' functions as an assemblage of discourses of difference coalescing categories of gender, sexuality and disability with categories of social difference. I bring to bear an intersectional disability studies position to argue for a new reading of the AIDS crisis that illustrates how ‘imagined communities’ turn into ‘imagined immunities’ and shared vulnerabilities.

About the speaker:

Kateřina Kolářová is Assistant Professor for Cultural Studies at the Department of Gender Studies, Charles University, Prague. Presently, she is the Visiting Professor at Institut für Politikwissenschaft at University of Vienna (Winter 2011). Her research, teaching and engagement interests cover feminist cultural studies and the intersections of gender, disability and queer studies. Organisation: Gender Research Office at the Univeristy of Vienna


Gender Research Office / Referat Genderforschung


Dr.in Sushila Mesquita


T: +43-1-4277-18452

Referat Genderforschung
Campus d. Universität Wien
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1090 Wien

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DI 15-17 Uhr
Do 12-14 Uhr

Termine außerhalb der Öffnungszeiten sind nach Vereinbarung möglich.

DI 14-17 Uhr
DO 13-16 Uhr

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