Revisiting HIV/AIDS Writing in the Age of Trump

“It will be recorded that the dead in the first decade of the calamity died of our indifference.” —Paul Monette At the end of the past year, the Trump administration dismissed all sixteen members of the federal HIV/AIDS advisory council, a panel that has existed since the Reagan years. This was coupled with deep cuts…

Disorientations: On Disability in Graduate School

Sara Ahmed, in Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others (2006), asks what it means to be orientated. By thinking through sexuality in terms of lived, embodied experience, Ahmed challenges us to think about how queer bodies occupy space and time. She writes that “if orientation is a matter of how we reside in space, then sexual…

The Anti-Disability of Anti-Vaccination

During my final year of undergraduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, I was studying at a café and had with me Seth Mnookin’s controversial new book, The Panic Virus.[1]  While I was reading, I was approached by a woman who happened to be waiting for her order by my table. Intrigued by…

Revaluing Illness: Virginia Woolf’s “On Being Ill”

Travis Chi Wing Lau Recently republished by Paris Press, Virginia Woolf’s meditation from the sickbed first appeared in T.S. Eliot’s The Criterion in January 1926. In this short reflection, I want to consider how Woolf offers us an early model for a patient-centered narrative medicine that challenges reductive assumptions about sickness as a state of…