Seth Palmer, Ph.D. Candidate

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Date(s) - 08/03/2017
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

208N North House, Munk School


Discussant:  Kathleen Rice, Ph.D.

HIV Prevention, American Homonationalism is LGBT Rights, Talk, and the Making-Up of the Medicalised MSM Malagasy Subject

This talk examines one potential chapter of a dissertation project that explores the subject formation of same-sex desiring and/or gender non-conforming male-bodied persons in rural and urban northwestern Madagascar (sarimbavy in Malagasy) through their participation in both spirit mediumship and MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) HIV/AIDS activism. The two are intertwined; the MSM activist organization in Madagascar, funded by international HIV/AIDS prevention NGOs, is largely formed through networks of spirit mediums. As such, HIV/AIDS projects committed to curbing the spread of the virus, particularly amongst the “vulnerable” MSM population, tend to unknowingly employ peer educators who are spirit mediums and/or who are familiar with that milieu. Drawing from Hacking’s Foucauldian process of “making-up people,” I consider the philosophical implications that emerge when individuals come to understand their gender/sexual alterity first and foremost through the initially foreign (American, homonationalist) human rights-based language of “MSM,” “LGBT,” and disease prevention.