Programme: Design - MPhil/PhD

Start date: September 2018

Mode of study: Full time

Research title: Post-AIDS: Biomedical Futures, Chronic Materialities & Other Viral Assemblages

Chase Ledin is a doctoral researcher at Edinburgh College of Art and the Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society at the University of Edinburgh. His academic interests include medical humanities, HIV/AIDS and representations of health and illness in queer communities. Specifically, he is interested in the cultural histories of HIV/AIDS in the U.K. and U.S., the sociology of health and illness, and the politics of HIV/STI prevention since the 1980s. Outside of his research, he is interested in the development of queer sexual health education and policy in Scotland, and the movement to standardise HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use across the United Kingdom. His creative work contributes to ongoing projects to historicise and archive HIV/AIDS narratives.

In his doctoral project, Chase explores how biomedical treatments (ARVs, PEP, PrEP, etc.) are documented in sociological and cultural representations of chronic HIV. He analyses how "post-AIDS" projects - particularly in the U.S. and U.K. - historicise and periodise biomedical technologies to make sense of the changing and uneven distribution of AIDS histories. Looking at materials from the mid-1990s to the present, the project asks: How are post-AIDS frameworks employed to study the social and cultural conditions of communities living with/among chronic HIV? The project is also guided by two sub-questions, which pins this research to histories of sexual liberation, the sociology of health and illness, and social theory: (1) In what ways are HIV antiretroviral technologies employed in "post-AIDS" narratives to negotiate sexual politics that imagine alternative configurations of living with/out HIV? and (2) How can the use and representation of "post-AIDS" in cultural theory empower alternative configurations of sexual possibility and sociability? In answering these questions, the project provides a rich understanding of how "post-AIDS" methods intervene in and challenge assumptions about the "afterlife" and "aftermath" of AIDS crisis and thus explores the larger disciplinary question: "What is AIDS crisis?"

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