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    Cultural and Political Geographies of the AIDS Crisis in Ireland


    O'Connell, Gisele Eugenia (2017) Cultural and Political Geographies of the AIDS Crisis in Ireland. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This thesis is a geographical study of the cultural and political performances of AIDS in Ireland. It takes, in particular, an institutional/ organisational approach to focus on the practices of the state and non-state sector and their interaction with the ‘AIDS’ body through two embodied practices; AIDS Quilting and blood donation. Drawing on a Butlerian conceptualisation of precarity and precariousness, it configures a landscape of HIV/AIDS care provision that is implicated in the production of the precarious body and the precarity of the state. My study of Irish AIDS Quilts explores the practice of AIDS Quilting among voluntary HIV/AIDS organisations that have been operating within a context overshadowed by religious moralization, and shaped by an inequitable geographical distribution of disease. I begin by locating Ireland’s AIDS Quilting projects within the context of Ireland’s HIV voluntary organisations, I then take up three geographical expressions of precarity that we can see communicated in the Quilt; a stigmatising state, a queer diaspora and a precarity of-place. Through an institutional ethnography of interviews with Quilt producers, ethnographic observation of the quilts aesthetic properties, and documentary research, this example demonstrates that Ireland’s attempts to memorialize marginalised collectives is at variance from other cultural contexts with a more visible and arguably more insurgent gay community, such as the United States. My second example focuses on the practice of blood donation in the aftermath of the AIDS crisis and examines how the cultural memory of AIDS continues to affect the institutionalised culture of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, where tactics of governmentality are expressed and experienced spatially with a particular impact on the bodies of non-normative subjects. Overall, the thesis elucidates a complex relationship between the body, state service and voluntary organisation, determining in particular that the state sector above all, continues to be instrumental for inducing precarity on the bodies most affected by the AIDS crisis.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Additional Information: This dissertation is submitted in partial fulfilment for the degree of M.Litt (Master of Literature)
    Keywords: Cultural Geographies; Political Geographies; AIDS Crisis; Ireland;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 8766
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2017 10:52
    URI:

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