Framing Responsibility: HIV and the Performativity of the Law

a brown bag lunch talk with Kane Race

November 11, Friday
12:30 to 1:45 pm
Kane Race, Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney, and CSGS Visiting Scholar
How can we register the participation of a range of elements, extending beyond the human subject, in the production of HIV events and drug effects? In the context of proposals around biomedical prevention, there is a growing awareness of the need to find ways of responding to complexity, as everywhere new combinations of treatment, behavior, drugs, norms, meanings and devices are coming into encounter with one another, or are set to come into encounter with one another, with a range of unpredictable effects. In this paper I consider the operation of various framing devices that attribute responsibility and causation with regard to HIV events. I propose that we need to sharpen our analytic focus on what these framing devices do; their performativity – that is, their full range of worldly implications and effects. My primary examples are the criminal law and the randomized control trial. I argue that these institutions operate as framing devices: they attribute responsibility for HIV events, and externalize other elements and effects in the process. Drawing on recent work in science and technology studies as well as queer theory, I set out an analytic frame that may help clarify a new role for HIV social research. Attentiveness to the performative effects of these framing devices is crucial, I suggest, if we want better to attend to the global HIV epidemic.
Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality
41-51 East 11th Street, 7th Floor, Room 741

between University Place and Broadway
wheelchair access at 85-87 University Place, between 11th and 12th Streets
This event is free and open to the public.  Bring your lunch, we’ll provide beverages and dessert!
For more information, please call 212-992-9540 or email csgs(at)
Organized by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.