Technologies of the HIV/AIDS Corpse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

In the early 1980s, unprecedented numbers of gay men and intravenous drug users began dying of what would later become known as HIV/AIDS. What the HIV/AIDS corpse posed was a direct challenge to the institutional controls developed by funeral directors to normalize and transform the dead body. How the funeral service industry reacted and changed in response to the emergence of the HIV/AIDS corpse offers an opportunity to re-examine the productive potential of the dead human body. My article examines the epidemic's production of what I call the HIV/AIDS corpse, and the institutional affects those corpses had on the US funeral service industry. The theoretical concept I use to analyze the productive qualities of the HIV/AIDS corpse is the technologies of the corpse. These technologies are the machines, laws, and institutions that control the corpse by classifying, organizing, and physically transforming it. What emerges from the institutional challenges posed by the HIV/AIDS corpse is a specific kind of dead body that offers political possibilities for both the concept of a queer body and the broader subject of human death.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-149
Number of pages21
JournalMedical Anthropology
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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Cadaver
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
AIDS
HIV
Technology
funeral
Industry
industry
dying
director
Drug Users
Human Body
drug
death
Law

Cite this

Technologies of the HIV/AIDS Corpse. / Troyer, John E.

In: Medical Anthropology, Vol. 29, No. 2, 2010, p. 129-149.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Troyer, John E. / Technologies of the HIV/AIDS Corpse. In: Medical Anthropology. 2010 ; Vol. 29, No. 2. pp. 129-149.
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