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Positive Images
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First book to explore legacy of HIV/AIDS in popular culture

About the Author

Dion Kagan is an early career academic and arts writer who works on film, theatre, sex and popular culture. He lectures in gender, sexuality, screen and cultural studies at Melbourne University, and at the Australian Research Centre for Sex, Health and Society, at LaTrobe University.

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`In this landmark study of the representation of gay men in contemporary popular culture, Dion Kagan shows how the panicked response to AIDS during the 1980s continues to haunt "post-crisis" gay life, unsettling its normalization by resuscitating the association of homosexuality with death and disease. In a series of carefully elaborated case studies drawn from the mainstream media and informed by feminist and queer theory, Kagan traces the transformation of HIV/AIDS into a signifier of social and sexual backwardness that conflicts with the normative aspirations of neoliberal gay identities'. - Robert J. Corber, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in American Institutions and Values, Trinity College, Connecticut, `In this erudite analysis of representations of Western gay life in `post-crisis' times, Dion Kagan re-activates the critical energies of early HIV cultural analysis for contemporary queer theory to ask what a `positive image' of gay life could possibly be in the current polarized environment that lurches between `progressive' attachments to clean, upstanding, respectable, sexless marrying types and the sensationalized monsters of chemsex, barebacking, HIV-positive sex and sex addiction, each of which emerge as figures of a `retrograde' sexuality we `should have grown out of by now' that effectively serve to `re-crisis' the present. Generous and expansive in its critical engagements, while sparkling throughout with astute and perceptive readings, Positive Images is a remarkable feat of inter-generational queer kinship that introduces an exciting new voice in sexuality scholarship'. - Kane Race, Associate Professor in Gender and Cultural Studies, The University of Sydney

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