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Lest We Forget: HIV/AIDS and Queer Theatre and Performance in Canada

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 February 2015

Extract

Lest We Forget, my current research project at Concordia University, critically analyses the history of queer theatre and performance as it intersects with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Canada. Stretching over three decades and taking the country's bilingualism into consideration, its objectives are to study the aesthetic variety and political complexity of plays and performances that attend to the epidemic and to identify the multiple challenges faced by theatre artists and activists. Furthermore, the project explores the methodological and historiographical challenges when studying HIV/AIDS theatre and performance in a Canadian context.

Type
Forum: Contemporary Queer Theatre and Performance Research
Copyright
Copyright © International Federation for Theatre Research 2015 

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References

1 Although the project considers material in both English and French, due to the limitation of space this short article limits itself to a few anglophone examples.

2 Rayside, David, Queer Inclusions, Continental Divisions: Public Recognition of Sexual Diversity in Canada and the United States (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

3 Tim McCaskell, ‘A Brief History of AIDS Activism in Canada’, Socialist Worker, 24 November 2012, at http://socialistworkercanada.com, last accessed 1 October 2013.

4 Wallace, Robert, ed., Making, Out: Plays by Gay Men (Toronto: Coach House, 1992)Google Scholar.

5 Carlson, Marvin, The Haunted Stage: The Theatre as Memory Machine (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Castiglia, Christopher and Reed, Christopher, If Memory Serves: Gay Men, AIDS, and the Promise of the Queer Past (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012)Google Scholar.

6 Gindt, Dirk, ‘Queer Embodied Absence: HIV/AIDS and the Creation of Memory in Gordon Armstrong's Blue Dragons and Daniel MacIvor's The Soldier Dreams’, Journal of Canadian Studies, 48, 2 (Spring 2014), pp. 122–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

7 ‘Poster Virus’, at http://postervirus.tumblr.com, accessed 9 May 2014; ‘Visual AIDS’, at www.visualaids.org, last accessed 9 May 2014.

8 Gilbert, Sky, Rope Enough (Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2005)Google Scholar; Gilbert, , I Have AIDS! (Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2010)CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed.

9 ‘HIV Stigma’, at www.hivstigma.com, last accessed 9 May 2014.

10 Gilbert, Sky, ‘Drag Queens on Trial: A Courtroom Melodrama’, in Painted, Tainted, Sainted: Four Plays by Sky Gilbert (Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 1996Google Scholar; first published 1985), pp. 19–85, here p. 75.

11 Gilbert, I Have AIDS!, p. 16.

12 Halperin, David M. and Traub, Valerie, ‘Beyond Gay Pride’, in Halperin, David M. and Traub, Valerie, eds., Gay Shame (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2009), pp. 340, here p. 9Google Scholar.

13 Gindt, Dirk, ‘“Your Asshole is Hanging Outside of Your Body?”: Excess, AIDS, and Shame in the Theatre of Sky Gilbert’, in Skelly, Julia, ed., The Uses of Excess in Visual and Material Culture, 1600–2010 (Burlington and Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014), pp. 249–76Google Scholar.

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