Category Archives: Conferences and Symposia

Stuart J. Murray will be speaking at the Vitalizing Movements Conference: Bodies, Environments, and Biopolitical Struggles

Vitalizing Movements Conference: Bodies, Environments, and Biopolitical Struggles

January 31 – February 2, 2014

Carleton University, Ottawa

Free, but we ask you to register if possible so we can plan for food/drink:

Stuart J. Murray, “The Body as Machine: Neoliberal Biopolitics and the Performative Rhetorics of HIV Treatment-as-Prevention”

Saturday, January 1 –1:00-2:30

Loeb A720

The TasP (Treatment-as-Prevention) paradigm is premised on the claim that scaling up testing and providing immediate access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for individuals living with HIV will produce a broader preventative benefit at the public health level and reduce the number of new HIV infections. Building on Marilou Gagnon’s paper, which argues for the emergence of a new medical category of “virally suppressed,” this paper performs an analysis of two pro-TasP media campaigns in order to demonstrate the rhetorical strategies at play in the constitution of virally suppressed/unsuppressed subjectivities. First, it analyzes a BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS YouTube “public service” advertisement, which enjoins the viewer to get tested by analogizing the body to “a great machine.” Second, it reads the cover photograph of a recent Médicins sans frontières publication depicting an African woman wearing a t-shirt declaring, “Viral Load Undetectable.” These two, unrelated campaigns, provide the occasion for a critical assessment of subject-formation within the rhetoric of suppression. While these campaigns presume vastly different audiences, each provides an image with which the viewer is meant to identify—desirable subject-positions available to be taken up, incorporated, and lived. In brief, the images of the bodies they propose are synecdochal for a normative and compliant subject, while a nexus of normalizing forces operate covertly in the background. Judith Butler’s theory of performativity is used to help read these campaigns and to understand the kind of subject that consolidates around the norm that is proposed by the TasP paradigm.


FRIDAY          Azrieli Pavillion 132

6:30 – 8:00     Poster Virus – AIDS Action Now

8:00 – 9:30     Keynote Address: Sarah Schulman “33 Years of AIDS”

SATURDAY    Loeb A720
9:30 – 10:00  Coffee and Light Snacks

10:00 – 10:15            Introductions

10:15 – 11:45            Fashioning Sexualities
Aging Bodies, Sexual Subjects: Feminist Health Activism and Biomedical Constructions of Sexual (Dys)function.
Annabelle Arbogast, University of Cincinnati

The Biopolitics of Australia’s Third, “X,” Sex: Pathology, Invisibility, and Intersexuality.
Celeste Elizabeth Orr, University of Ottawa

The Asexuality Movement and the Biopolitics of Sexuality in Contemporary North American Contexts
Ela Przyblo, York University

Like a Fish on a Stick: Culture and Resistance Among PLHIV Support Groups in Lao PDR
Amanda Joy, Carleton University

11:45 – 1:00 – Lunch

1:00 – 2:30     Biopolitics, Viropolitics, HIV Treatment and Criminalization
Freedom Through Suppression: The New Logic of Viral Suppression in HIV Treatment-as-Prevention
Marilou Gagnon, University of Ottawa

The Body as Machine: Neoliberal Biopolitics and the Performative Rhetorics of HIV Treatment-as-Prevention
Stuart J. Murray, Carleton University

Bioethics and Biopolitics in the Era of HIV Treatment-as-Prevention
Adrian Guta, Carleton University

Viropolitics: On Uncertainty and Counselling in an Era of Criminalization
Martin French, Concordia University

2:30-2:45 – Break

2:45 – 5:00    Bodies in Movement
What’s Left of the Body?: Protest Medics, Trauma, and the Ethics of Console
Hilton Bertalan, York University

Reshaping Canadian Disability Movements through Artistic, Radical and Cultural-based Activism
Michael Orsini and Christine Kelly, University of Ottawa

Governing participation: the politics and policy of the involvement of people living with HIV
Alex McClelland, Adrian Guta, Nicole Greenspan.

7:00 – 9:00    Keynote Address: “Direct Action = Life: Memories of AIDS Activism in ‘Canada,’ 1987-1993.” Gary Kinsman, Laurentian University

SAW Gallery

9:00 – 11:00  Evening Social [Avant Garde]

SUNDAY         Loeb A710

9:00 -5:00      Workshop – Indexing Methodologies in Research on AIDS Activism (limited attendance)