Date of Degree
African American Studies | Africana Studies | American Literature | American Studies | Dance | English Language and Literature | Ethnic Studies | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Performance Studies | Theatre History
HIV/AIDS, New York City, Dance, Black Performance, Queer Performance
Corporeal Archives of HIV/AIDS: The Performance of Relation, explores how choreographers and theater artists in the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York City used time and space to involve their audiences experientially in the project of grieving and rebuilding in the midst of the temporal chaos of mass death and illness (crisis time). Refusing to portray HIV/AIDS as a discrete or singular phenomenon, these artists revealed how it intersected with every aspect of life, including artistic practice, thereby delinking their bodies from a singular association with pathology and death. Undertaking extensive archival research on the work and lives of choreographer Neil Greenberg (b. 1959) and poet and playwright Assotto Saint (1957-1994), this project examines the structures that differently produce the archives of these two artists, and expands Saint’s archive by conducting new oral history interviews. In light of the particular challenges of documenting performance, and the tendency for HIV/AIDS to be framed as historical, I argue that oral history is a research method that can better serve performance, given its durational, relational, improvisational, and contingent nature, which allows for multiple temporalities to coexist at once.
Coan, Jaime Shearn, "Corporeal Archives of HIV/AIDS: The Performance of Relation" (2020). CUNY Academic Works.
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