Reactions to HIV/AIDS since the 1980s: Transnational and Comparative History Perspectives

Date / time: 30 August - 31 August, All day

Reactions to HIV/AIDS since the 1980s: Transnational and Comparative History Perspectives


Call for Papers, deadline – 15 February 2022

Conference Venue: University of St Andrews
Organisers: Dr. Nikolaos Papadogiannis (University of St Andrews), Dr. Rachel Love (University of St Andrews)

This conference aims to help promote research on the social, cultural, political, and financial implications of HIV/AIDS across the globe from a transnational and comparative perspective. While there has been substantial research on this topic, such literature tends so far to focus on national contexts within Western Europe and North America. In this vein, relevant scholarship has largely, although not entirely, neglected transnational connections, especially among activists and NGOs dealing with AIDS, prior to the late 1990s.

We welcome proposals that take a transnational and comparative perspective. Proposed papers may explore different contexts across the globe since the 1980s, especially regions in the ‘periphery’ of Europe and beyond the ‘West’. Papers that attend to representational diversity in social class, gender, sexual orientation, age and ‘race’ are particularly welcome. Proposals may touch upon at least one of the following subjects and themes:


  • Civil society organisations and activists. The latter may include subjects who did not necessarily label themselves as ‘AIDS activists’ but still dealt with its social and political impact. Such subjects may include, but not be limited to, sex workers and/or LGBTQI individuals.
  • State institutions and policymakers.
  • Subjects dealing with health and healthcare, such as social workers, nurses, doctors, and discourses.
  • Migrant associations.
  • Religious subjects.
  • Communities of artists. Filmmakers.
  • Journalists, authors, publishers.


  • Discourses about the rights of people living with AIDS.
  • Shifting sexual norms and patterns.
  • Policy instruments and their negotiation and contestation.
  • Protest patterns of AIDS activists.
  • Mobilities and migration.
  • Structures and ideologies of NGOs and activist organisations addressing people living with AIDS.
  • Healthcare structures addressing people living with AIDS.
  • Artistic representations of HIV/AIDS.
  • Medical representations of HIV/AIDS. Biomedical technologies and people living with AIDS.
  • Memory, testimony, and silences of living with AIDS and emotions surrounding them.

We welcome scholars particularly from history, but also from a broad spectrum of disciplines, including but not limited to social/cultural anthropology, sociology, political science, gender studies, queer studies, film and media studies, and literature. Papers based on interdisciplinary approaches are also welcome. We are looking forward to abstracts from scholars at all stages of their academic careers, from graduate students to emeritus faculty, as well as independent scholars and people working in associated fields.

The conference is expected to take place in a hybrid form, both in-person and online. Accommodation costs will be covered, and there will be no conference fee. Some travel costs may be reimbursed as well.

Conference language: English.

Proposal Requirements and Deadline:

  • Please include a 300-word abstract in English and a 2-page CV.
  • All proposals should be submitted electronically by 15 February 2022 to You will be notified whether your paper has been selected by early March. Please feel free to contact us beforehand, should you have any questions, at and the email address mentioned above.


The conference is part of the research project entitled ‘Transnational sexual health activism and AIDS in Western Europe, 1980s-1990s’, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the UK (

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