Viral Dramaturgies: HIV and AIDS in Performance in the Twenty-First Century

  • Alyson Campbell
  • Dirk Gindt


The introduction sets out a number of challenges and contexts for HIV and AIDS in performance in the twenty-first century, including: the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry; the vast disparities in experience in the Global North and Global South; the problematic division between dominant (read: white, gay, urban, cis-male) and marginalised narratives of HIV; and the ongoing stigmatisation of people living with HIV. While the practice and scholarship covered in the book vary considerably, we propose that one way to frame the analysis of the heterogeneous works presented here is to consider their dramaturgies as ‘viral’. Building on the work of queer and feminist performance scholars, this critical frame draws attention to the embodied and affective experience of live performance: like a virus, performance moves into the body’s system producing change not only at an individual but also at a community level through affect.


Performance Dramaturgies Affect AIDS activism Stigma Truvada Criminalisation Nostalgia 



For valuable advice and careful editorial guidance, we are grateful to Jennifer Audsley, Aengus Carroll, Kim Davis, Peter Dickinson, Stephen Farrier, Ann Fox, Ola Johansson, Dion Kagan, Monica Pearl and John Potvin.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alyson Campbell
    • 1
  • Dirk Gindt
    • 2
  1. 1.Victorian College of the ArtsUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Culture and AestheticsStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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