Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

This project began here in the South End over Sunday morning coffee in November 2005, although the NAMES Project AIDS Quilt has long had a recurrent role in my personal and professional life, from my coming out in 1992 through dozens of seminar conversations...

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Prologue | Cleve Jones

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pp. xi-xxxvi

After eight months on Maui I was back in the Castro. I had no job, no money, and was sleeping on a friend’s couch (Jim Foster had taken me in). But I had a plan. I’d written a speech that I hoped would reignite the will to fight. I would give my speech at the candlelight...

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The Mourning After

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p. xxxvii

Anniversaries, by convention, invite and invent time passages: rhetorical embodiments of retrospective and retroactive experiences; mappings of routes from those pasts through contemporaneous frames into prospective futures; interpellations of us as chronological or epochal or historically contingent and contiguous beings. This project...

Part 1: Emergence

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The AIDS Memorial Quilt and the Contemporary Culture of Public Commemoration

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pp. 3-42

The AIDS Memorial Quilt marks the lives and deaths of tens of thousands of individuals. It represents the deaths of hundreds of thousands of others it does not name explicitly. It creates spaces for moving rituals to remember the dead. AIDS Quilt displays often have...

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The Politics of Loss and Its Remains in Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt

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pp. 43-66

With panels corresponding to the size of a body, coffin, or a grave, the AIDS Memorial Quilt evokes “for many an image of war dead strewn across a now quiet battlefield.”1 With the Quilt operating as a surrogate for the bodies of people who have died of...

Part 2: Movement

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Q.U.I.L.T.: A Patchwork of Reflections

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pp. 69-100

...My brother died of AIDS twenty years ago. I still cry and I am still pissed. I sat with John in Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City the night before he died. “Is it okay for me to go now?” he asked. I lied and said yes. I still want to sit outside...

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Collage/Montage as Critical Practice, Or How to “Quilt”/ReadPostmodern Text(ile)s

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pp. 101-132

The cultural politics of the 1980s were especially divisive and contentious. The political and social conservatism of the Reagan administration, with its politics of exclusion and ethos of conformity and moral absolutism, ignited deep-seated fears surrounding...

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A Stitch in Time: Public Emotionality and the Repertoire of Citizenship

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pp. 133-160

The narratives resonating from the AIDS Memorial Quilt speak to its power as a cultural text. The snapshots of lives lost to government neglect and incurable disease spark feelings of rage and sentimentality, generating both alienation and bonds of stranger...

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From San Francisco to Atlanta and Back Again: Ideologies of Mobility in the AIDS Quilt’s Search for a Homeland

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pp. 161-186

Two key controversies about the AIDS Quilt span the years 2001–2007. Specifically, these controversies are the relocation of the Quilt from San Francisco to Atlanta in 2001 and the firing of NAMES Project founder and spokesperson Cleve Jones in 2003, a dispute that prompted a number of lawsuits and settlements between...

Part 3: Transformation

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Rhetorics of Loss and Living: Adding New Panels to the AIDS Quilt as an Act of Eulogy | Bryant Keith Alexander

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pp. 189-228

My partner and I both love quilts. They adorn every room of our house—draped over chairs, mounded on racks, displayed as slipcovers and wall hangings, and, most important, layered on beds for warmth. And even though we now live at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in sunny Southern California, we both...

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Repeated Remembrance: Commemorating the AIDS Quilt and Resuscitating the Mourned Subject

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pp. 229-260

The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2007. Marking this occasion is undoubtedly bittersweet, perhaps inspirational or humbling, but also rather troubling. Commemorating the Quilt recognizes the many thousands...

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How to Have History in an Epidemic | Kyra Pearson

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pp. 261-298

In 2006 the California senate approved a bill that would require all public schools to adopt social studies textbooks that portray the sexual diversity of society and avoid material that “reflects adversely” upon a group based on sexual orientation. By proposing this legislation, the bill’s author, state Senator Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), the first out...

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Experiencing the Quilt

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pp. 299-308

As I close this volume I am taken back to my first encounter with the AIDS Quilt in Washington, D.C., in 1992. I was a young, closeted graduate student who along with my friend and peer Rick Pucci joined Carole Blair at the display, where Carole was conducting research...

Contributors

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pp. 309-313