(note: consistently updated version here)
AIDS Activism Pinterest Board
Books/Journals – if you do not have access through your local library, I suggest interlibrary loan if it is available.
AIDS and Its Metaphors by Susan Sontag
Moving Politics:Emotion and ACT-UP’s Fight Against AIDS. by Deborah Gould
How to Have Theory in an Epidemic by Paula Treichler
Demo Graphics. Douglas Crimp (really any you can’t go wrong with Douglas Crimp)
Avital Ronell, “A Note on the Failure of Man’s Custodianship (AIDS Update)
See Works Cited for more.
Primary Source: Randy Shilts And the Band Played On. Primary resource with (obviously) outdated information (for example, the Patient Zero myth). But important historical artifact.
Biography and Memoir:
- Fire in the Belly:The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz by Cynthia Carr (buy here)
- Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration by David Wojnarowicz (buy here)
- Brief interview with Cynthia Carr
- On censoring Wojnarowicz
Robert Mapplethorpe:The Archive (buy here) (Extra Reading: Patti Smith’s Just Kids).
Sean Strub Body Counts:A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival (buy here)
We Were Here On Netflix. PBS clip here.
The Age of AIDS (part 1) (note: I haven’t seen this yet. Tell me if it is any good!)
1993 PBS “Angels in America” Documentary (have not seen this yet)
Bonus: not AIDS related, but The Life and Times of Harvey Milk is on Hulu. It does a good job explaining the political climate in San Francisco following Milk’s murder and establishing the milieu from which the San Francisco AIDS crisis emerged.
Reluctantly recced: How to Survive a Plague. Well-done documentary that provides a great deal of historical background and information, but over-emphasizes the role of white men in ACT-UP (though interestingly enough, not Kramer). I.e., aggrandizes Peter Staley.
Historical Footage:Primary Sources
Kissing Doesn’t Kill (PSA by Gran Fury)
Fire in My Belly by David Wojnarowicz
Public Information Film – AIDS 1986
Bordowicz’s Video Data Bank.
The Guardian: The First Lady Who Looked Away
More on the Reagans laughing at AIDS from ACT-UP’s Michael Bronski
Radiolab: Patient Zero NOTE:the Patient Zero myth has been debunked. I have not listened to this episode yet so I do not know how Radiolab handles it.
Selections from Ann Cvetkovich’s An Archive of Feelings on lesbians in ACT-UP
Larry Kramer at democracynow.org in 2007
Center for Disease Control:Three Decades of the Commitment to the Fight Against AIDS video
Angels in America by Tony Kushner
- Rent HBO adaptation here
- If you have a Scribd subscription, read here
- Teachers’s Resource Packet with Background Information
Sarah Shulman People in Trouble (buy here) Scribd here note: much of Rent was plagiarized from Shulman which is but one reason it is not on this list. Further reading: Shulman’s Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS, and the Marketing of Gay America (buy here)
Carol Rifka Brunt Tell the Wolves I’m Coming Home
Vital Signs: Essential AIDS Fiction ed. Richard Canning
- Faggot note: published in 1978. Pre-AIDS, but classic Kramer.
Michael Cunningham: The Hours (film adaptation: rent)
Photo credit: Gran Fury, anonymous.