Mar 21 2018

Spring Updates

This fall I continued my work for the AIDS Activist History Project, primarily indexing oral history transcripts from Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. I also had the opportunity to interview Earl Pinchuk and Andy Sorfleet for the project, discussing ACT UP/Montreal and sex worker organizing in Toronto and Vancouver respectively. I’ve also continued with my “From the Video Vault” series for the project’s blog with an omnibus post for International Women’s Day on Canadian women making work on HIV/AIDS. In addition to this online writing, I just submitted a revised version of my piece “HIV Not Welcome Here: Canada’s Exclusion of HIV-Positive Immigrants” to the anthology Queer Migrations II that is due out in 2019. I’ll also co-present a paper reflecting on the last five years of the AAHP with my colleague Danielle Normandeau for the Sexuality Studies Association’s annual conference at the 2018 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (May 27-29, 2018) in Regina.

I’ve just returned from the Law, Culture, and Humanities annual conference at Georgetown Law (March 16-17, 2018) where I presented alongside Sheryl Hamilton and Chantal Nadeau. My paper, “The Cost of Erotic Touch: Sex Work, Migration, and Employment Regulation in Canada,” investigates the logic behind recent changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker program that excludes erotic services as the only type of labour from which migrant workers are excluded.  This paper will also be presented at the Othered Senses Workshop in Montreal later this spring (May 2-5,  2018).

I’m also working on a book review of Avram Finkelstein‘s After Silence: A History of AIDS through Its Images for QED Journal. It’s a fantastic book that demystifies the process by which the images that have come to be associated with ACT UP New York were made. Definitely one of the best books I’ve read in the last couple years and highly recommended.

I should also be able to finish my next experimental short video Nineteen-Ninety-Nothing in the coming months, hopefully in time to premiere at a yet-to-be-named queer experimental film festival. N-N-N is a media mashup that relays my own distaste for the nineties, the decade of my childhood, through the decade’s most-seen moving images: OJ Simpson, Waco, Gulf War, John Wayne Bobbitt, Columbine, Jenny Jones Show murder, Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky, Princess Diana, HIV/AIDS, Menendez brothers, pedophile priests, Boris Yeltsin, Daria, Kosovo, Nickelodeon, Yasser Araft, JonBenét Ramsey, MTV, BlockBuster, Jack Kevorkian, Nintendo, gay VHS video porn, AOL, Rodney King, 90210, and so much more…


Dec 21 2017

Winter Updates

This fall I continued my work for the AIDS Activist History Project, primarily indexing the oral history transcripts from Ottawa, Vancouver, and Montreal. This winter I will continue indexing the Halifax and Toronto transcripts. I’ve also continued my “From the Video Vault” series for the project, with short new pieces on Karate Kids (1990), ACT UP/MTL 1990-1993 (1993), The Colour of Immunity (1991) and The Facts on A.I.D.S. (1983). In addition to this online writing, I just submitted the final version of the co-authored piece “‘This Is My Body’: Historical Trauma, Activist Performance, and Embodied Rage” with Alexis Shotwell to a|b Auto/Biography Studies Journal.

For World AIDS Day / Day With(out) Art on December 1st the AIDS Activist History Project co-hosted a screening put together by the folks at Visual AIDS.  We paired the program of new short works by Black American activists/artists provided by Visual AIDS titled ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS with The Colour of Immunity (1991), an early for-and-by Black Canadian HIV prevention tape. The AHHP also produced a blog post foregrounding the work of African, Caribbean, and Black communities in Canada and their struggle against HIV/AIDS as it came up in the oral history interviews we’ve conducted to date.

I’ve joined the programming committee for the Sexuality Studies Association’s annual conference at the 2018 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (May 27-29, 2018). Along with helping organize the conference program I hope to be co-presenting a paper reflecting on the last five years of the AIDS Activist History Project with my AAHP colleague Danielle Normandeau.

I’ll be at the Law, Culture, and Humanities annual conference at Georgetown this spring (March 16-17, 2018) with Sheryl Hamilton and Chantal Nadeau presenting our panel “Dirty touch: States, Bodies, and Sensuous Law.”  I’ll be presenting my work on the regulation of sex work and immigration law in Canada. I’ll presenting this work at the Uncommon Senses 2: Art, Technology, Education, Law, Society conference in Montreal later this spring (May 2-5,  2018).

In the mean time I’m still waiting on my Permanent Residency and Banting post-doc applications to wind their way through each system.

Oct 13 2017

Fall Updates

It has been a busy summer packing up in Montréal and beginning a new life in Ottawa. Plus applying for Permanent Residence in Canada is pretty much a full time job in itself… But that did not keep me from marching in the Ottawa Pride Parade with POWER and volunteering with Ottawa’s Gay Men’s Health Initiative, MAX.  And now I’m volunteering with InsideOut Ottawa as the queer film festival gets underway November 10-12, 2017.

Working my research-based post-doc with the AIDS Activist History Project under the direction of Gary Kinsman and Alexis Shotwell has picked up now that the fall semester is in full swing. My main focus is indexing the oral history transcripts collected by the project thus far, but I’ve also been working on a blog series for AAHP called “From the Video Vault” exploring Canadian AIDS activist video from the 80s, 90s, and 00s. I also co-organized a workshop for Pervers/Cité at the Archives Gaies du Quebec teaching participants about how the AAHP does their oral history work and how we are trying to mobilize our research.

I’ve also just submitted a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship application through the Communication and Media Studies department at Carleton University under the supervision of Sheryl Hamilton. I’ll find out in February 2018 if this two year gig researching the Toronto: Living With AIDS cable access series that was distributed on Roger’s and MacLean Hunter cable networks in Toronto from 1990-1991 comes through.

In the mean time I have been taking gigs indexing academic books in film/media studies. I highly recommend checking out Lee Greiveson’s Cinema and the Wealth of Nations Media, Capital, and the Liberal World System for an example of cultural Marxism done right. I’ll be indexing Aubrey Anable’s Playing with Feelings: Video Games and Affect next.

Mar 21 2017

Spring Update

On April 10th I will be defending my dissertation titled Reinvigorating the Queer Political Imagination: Affect, Archives, and Anti-Normativity. My defence will be chaired by Rebecca Duclos and the examining jury will be comprised of Thomas Waugh, Anne Whitelaw, Deborah Gould, Monika Gagnon, and Susan Knabe. Susan Knabe and her collaborator Wendy Gay Pearson will be giving a talk the day before on April 9th, “Recipes For Survival: Muffins for Granny and the Legacy of Residential Schooling.”

In the mean time I have taken a spring/summer contract with the AIDS Activist History Project, indexing their 1,500 pages of oral history interviews from participants all over Canada.

Alexis Shotwell and I are also working on a journal article for a special issue on embodiment for a|b Auto/Biography Studies Journal titled “‘This Is My Body’: Historical Trauma, Activist Performance, and Embodied Rage.” This piece expands on some of our earlier work with content from the AIDS Activist History Project including the theatrical work of Michael Smith.

I am organizing an HIV/AIDS film & videomaker roundtable on May 29th with Cecilia Aldarondo, Vincent Chevalier, Alison Duke, and Étienne Ganjohian  at the Sexual Studies Association Annual Conference taking place as part of the 2017 Social Sciences and Humanities Congress. I’ll also be presenting at the Feeling Queer / Queer Feeling Colloquium at University of Toronto taking place a few days before congress from May 24-26 2017.

Dec 21 2016

Winter Updates

plwa_feature_icon_1This fall I joined the AIDS Activist History Project (AAHP) team as a Research Associate. Working with the co-researchers for the project, Gary Kinsman and Alexis Shotwell, I’ve had the opportunity to research Canadian AIDS activist video culminating in a feature piece about Michael Smith’s 1990 performance Person Livid With AIDS for the 2016 Day With(out) Art / World AIDS Day. I also introduced a program of John Greyson’s shorts at the ByTowne Theatre in Ottawa as a kickoff event for World AIDS Awareness Week with the AAHP and the AIDS Committee of Ottawa.

Eight students from my AIDS Film and Video course screened their work as part of an exhibition at VAV Gallery in Montreal. Generations invites viewers to reflect on the changing contexts of HIV/AIDS, thinking through how the pandemic, the discourses which surround it, and the communities it impacts have developed since the onset of the AIDS crisis. The student work was mounted in dialog with a restored projection of Stuart Marshall‘s 1991 video Robert Marshall and I co-hosted a workshop with artist/curator Conal McStravick on intergenerational communication, queer cultural production, and HIV/AIDS at the gallery.

dsn_bookOther Day With(out) Art / World AIDS day projects or writing that I wasn’t a part of, but are worth checking out are: Jean Carlomusto, Alexandra Juhasz, and Hugh Ryan’s Compulsive Practice for Visual AIDS; Matthew Hays’ interview with Gaétan Dugas friend reflecting on his memory; Ted Kerr’s reflection on this year’s new works for Poster/Virus;

The College Art Association’s annual conference is coming up February 15-18 2017. Joe Madura and I will co-host a panel on AIDS and Cultural Activism on Friday the 17th with Avram Finkelstein, LJ Roberts, Aleksandra Gajowy, and Thibault Boulvain. I’m also going to check out the panel hosted by Robert Summers called Queer(ing) Art History? the day before!

Decolonizing Sexualities Network launched their new anthology in October 2016. This collection titled Decolonizing Sexualities: Transnational Perspectives, Critical Interventions is now available from Counterpress and includes a contribution co-authored by Karma Chávez, Yasmin Nair, and myself about Against Equality. Our chapter is based on our book tour talk from 2014/2015. There are also a bunch of amazing contributors so be sure to check it out!


Sep 21 2016

Fall Updates

20160806_203518This summer I helped coordinate two film screenings as part of the annual Pervers/cité festival in Montreal, our ten year old alternative anti-capitalist pride festival. With the help of many we hosted the Quebec premiere of the feature documentary Oriented (2015) followed by a panel discussion with four brilliant activists and scholars who responded to the film (Ray, Natalie, Rachel, and Gabriel!). The next day p/c co-hosted director Richard Fung and held the Quebec premiere of his new documentary Re:Orientations (2016) that looks back at the subjects from his 1984 documentary on gay asians living in Canada.

On September 7th Drain: A Journal of Contemporary Art & Culture held its Toronto launch for their newest issue “AIDS & Memory” in which I have published a chapter of my dissertation on AIDS activist art practices in the US and the ubiquitous circulation of genocide metaphors in such works. The issue was edited by Ricky Varghese and features a host of wonderful writers like Alex Juhasz, Ted Kerr, Cait McKinney, and Jordan Arsenault amongst many others. The launch party also included the premiere of Vincent Chevalier‘s beautiful new experimental short video À Vancouver, a must see!

The forum on HIV criminalization I edited for QED Journal should be coming out this fall and includes contributions from Alison Duke, Cyd Nova, David Oscar Harvey, Demian DinéYazhi’, and Michael Johnson. In this forum the voices of artists, activists, and those directly affected by HIV criminalization are amplified instead of social scientists, public health experts, and public policy wonks who currently monopolize conversations addressing the criminalization of HIV. Links will be posted once it becomes available online.

This winter I have two events in the works. As part of World AIDS Day / Day With(out) Art I will be co-hosting a workshop for students with Conal McStravick as well as curating a selection of videos created by students in my AIDS Film and Video course last year to be screened in a joint exhibition with Conal’s work. These events are also taking place as part of the 24th annual Concordia Community Lecture Series on HIV/AIDS. I’m also co-organizing a panel at the College Art Association’s annual conference in New York in February 2017 with Joe Madura on “AIDS and Cultural Activism” featuring presentations from Avram Finkelstein, LJ Roberts, Aleksandra Gajowy, and Thibault Boulvain.

Otherwise I’m just finishing my dissertation and looking forward to being unemployable in the near future.

Mar 21 2016

Spring Updates

Media Now Poster for WebMy AIDS Film and Video course at Concordia University is coming to an end in a few short weeks and I am looking forward to students’ final projects. During the semester I participated in the McGill University conference Why We Remember: HIV/AIDS Media Now, a two day symposium filled with panels, performances, and discussions. I presented alongside Karen Herland where we discussed the pedagogical challenges of teaching HIV/AIDS to undergraduate students outside of a public health or social work framework. Hopefully we’ll both have the time to reflect more on this question and possibly co-author something in the near future.

Looking to the future, I have a number of articles in process focused on HIV/AIDS, gay marriage, and immigration in the works along with a number of conferences. I will be at L’Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) annual conference from May 9-11th presenting as part of the colloquium Cultures du témoignage organized by Nengeh Mensah at University of Quebec à Montréal. I will also be at the National Women’s Studies Association’s annual conference November 10-13th at the Palais des Congrès in Montréal co-presenting a paper with Melissa Autumn White.

Collecting_ME_LGBTQ_History_PosterBut in the even nearer future there are two public events in which I will be participating. On March 24th I will be presenting a public lecture at the Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law as part of the Feminist Legal Supplement series. My talk, American Injustice: A Queer Cautionary Tale is at 6pm in the Weldon Law Building, room 104. Following soon after on April 30th, I’ll be moderating a panel on the politics of creating, collecting and using material culture in examining LGBTQ history as part of a day long symposium at the University of Southern Maine’s Sampson Center for Diversity. As part of this symposium I will also be collecting photographs and doing archival research for my upcoming book, LBGTQ Maine: Portland and Beyond due out on Aracadia Publishing in the summer of 2017.  More details about that project forthcoming!

Dec 23 2015

Winter Updates

liljoe5My new course, AIDS Film & Video begins in January and the syllabus is now available for those that are curious to know about what I am teaching next semester. The thirteen week course will be a whirlwind of screenings and discussions, I only wish there was more time to include more stuff! Also speaking of AIDS Film & Video, there will be a two day HIV/AIDS Media Archives symposium at McGill University in Montreal February 12-13 in which I will participate. Details forthcoming!

Little Joe Issue #5 is finally available for order online and there will be a Toronto launch party for the new issue from 15-17h on the 16th of January at Art Metropole (1490 Dundas W). Tom Waugh and I have a great piece in the issue using the Queer Film Classics series that he co-edits as a jumping off point for an intergenerational dialog about queer film, friendship, and faggotry.

My piece b.1983 from 2008 has been included in Rock Hushka and Jonathan David Katz’s year long touring exhibition Art AIDS America. The show seems quite impressive based on the exhibition catalog as I have yet to see the show in person, but the lack of black artists (only 4 of over 100 artists included) has been a stunning disappointment with the reality of the large over representation of black americans in HIV incidence, prevalence, and death. I am deeply sympathetic to the criticism and ongoing demonstrations against the disappearance of black voices in this9780262528672 exhibition and hopeful that the museums where this show tours in the future will be receptive to the need for serious changes laid out by black artists/activists.

QUEER: Documents in Contemporary Art by David Getsy is due out in late January and includes a collaboratively written piece I worked on from the exhibition catalog for Est-ce que ca vous dérange?. “Rather than a book of queer theory for artists, this is a book of artists’ queer tactics and infectious concepts” suggests the publisher description for the book. With an all-star roster of queer artists, I’m really looking forward to checking this collection out myself!

I also have a piece in the forthcoming issue of the Gay and Lesbian Review. The thematic issue reflects on the the old essentialist vs constructionist arguments in relations to sexuality and gender. I take the opportunity to reflect on Pink Tank’s 2005 ‘zine that includes the short manifesto Your Genes Will Not Protect You, using it as a jumping off point for exploring the history of biomedical etiology studies of homosexuality. In short, it’s a history of science piece that points out the flawed logic of biologic essentialism as a basis for claiming right to non-discrimination protections and situates the science within its social, economic, and political context of the violently homophobic 1990s.



Oct 1 2015

Fall Updates

AE_QRNMIThis month Against Equality turns six years old!  We have a publishing update on our website about our book Against Equality: QueerRevolution Not Mere Inclusion for those that are interested, but the short and quick of it is that we distributed over 5,000 copies of our new book since it came out a year and a half ago on AK Press and we very happy with that!

A few months ago I also signed a book contract with Arcadia Publishing for a new book titled LGBTQ Maine: Portland & Beyond as part of their Images from Modern America series.  This full color photo history book will showcase queer history in Maine since the 1970s with a focus on Maine’s largest city (and queer hub) Portland while not neglecting the importance of people, places, and events from Caribou to Lewiston. This project wouldn’t be possible without the generous help of the folks like Susie Bock at the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine who maintain the LGBT Special Collection (amongst other great collections). This project is set to wrap up in time for a launch at Pride in 2017.

I have two collaborative pieces coming out online and in print over the next little bit. I participated in roundtable discussion focused on transnational queer politics and organizing put together by Karma Chávez for the Scholar & Feminist and I am currently organizing a forum on HIV criminalization with a bunch of great folks for QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking. Keep an eye out for those forthcoming!

This fall I also began working with Melissa Autumn White on her research project titled Stranger Intimacies which focuses on the privatization of the refugee claims process in Canada since the 1970s and particularly the launch of the Rainbow Refugee pilot program by the government of Canada in 2011. Future publications are in the works under Melissa’s leadership. She will be presenting some initial findings at the upcoming American Studies Association Conference in Toronto where I will also be presenting a separate paper on AIDS art and checking out the premiere of Kami Chisholm‘s new documentary Pride Denied: Homonationalism & the Future of Queer Politics that I was interviewed for (amongst other brilliant thinkers and activists)!

Lastly, I’ve also done a couple interviews lately, one rather snarky, and the other rather sincere. My VICE interview with my Concordia University colleague Matt Hays deals with gay life after Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage. My Q5 interview with Brendan Kieran who co-coordinates the New England Archivists’ LGBTQ Issues Roundtable, focuses on my current dissertation research and against equality.

Jul 17 2015

Summer Updates

b1983I recently sent off proofs to curators of the upcoming touring exhibition Art AIDS America, which will include my piece b.1983 amongst hundreds of other artists. As described online, this exhibition “examines 30 years of artistic production made in response to the AIDS epidemic in the United States. Surveying the early 1980s to the present, this exhibition reintroduces and explores a spectrum of artistic responses to HIV/AIDS from the politically outspoken to the quietly mournful, considering how the disease shifted the development of American art away from the conceptual foundations of postmodernism and toward a more insistently political and autobiographical voice.” The exhibition’s touring schedule is as follows:

archivesMost of this summer I’ve been hanging out at the Special Collections Archives at the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. I’ve be digitizing the entire run of a bunch of Maine-based LGBTQ newspapers (10%, Apex, Community Pride Reporter, Fast Times, and Our Paper) from the 80s and 90s. Excited to be thinking about affect & trauma as it relates to the pre-protease inhibitor AIDS crisis days outside of major urban north american gay centers and how Maine’s mutli-year failed non-discrimination ordinances intersect with this history.

My short film things are different now… showed at the Outside the Frame Festival, a Queers for Palestine film festival and a creative alternative to Frameline’s pinkwashing, on June 21st.  I pulled this film from the Frameline Film Festival a few years ago and was happy to have it re-screened at this vibrant, ethically sound, alternative put together by a great group of local activists in the San Francisco Bay area.

There’s also a piece in the upcoming issue of WSQ: The 1970s I co-wrote with Karma Chávez and Yasmin Nair reflecting on the stalled Equal Rights Amendment. We approach the topic through our own work writing critically about equality rhetoric and gay rights legislation with Against Equality.

I was interviewed by the folks at the Gay & Lesbian Review for their spring 2015 issue as mentioned in the last update.  The full interview can be read here as a pdf for those that don’t have a subscription. It’s one of the best interviews I’ve done for Against Equality over that project’s lifetime.