I will be presenting a paper titled “‘Picturing Possibilities’: AIDS Activism, Disability, and the Politics of Belonging” at the National Women's Studies Association Annual Conference in Atlanta Georgia on Sunday, November 11th, as part of a panel on Queer World-Making and/as Resistance: Radical Histories and Utopian Futures.
This panel looks to histories of radical feminist and queer activism to assess the lessons they might hold for the future of intersectional social justice organizing. Tackling topics from radical feminism and AIDS activism to insane liberation and queer labor coalitions, these papers ask how the utopian visions these movements espoused might hold the key to alternative forms of queer and feminist relationality. For instance, what kind of utopian futures do 1970s radical feminism and 1980s AIDS activism envision, and what gender and sexual formations do they make possible? How does the mad liberation of the 1970s call into question a queer politics based on claims to rational subjecthood? And finally, how might the militant roots of labor organizing hold possibilities for new alliances between the labor movement and queer prison abolitionists? Bringing an intersectional approach to feminist and queer history, these papers highlight the uneven and often imperfect attempts to bridge issues of gender, sexuality, race, class, age, and disability within these radical historical movements. By attending to the possibilities, as well as the limitations, of these movements for social change, this panel considers what radical imaginaries, utopian visions, and militant tactics these histories have to offer our present moment.