Please join us for our next Current Issues in LGBTQ Health lecture “Infectious Blackness: Race, Media, and the Criminalization of HIV/AIDS” with ISGMH faculty member Dr. Steven Thrasher.
The talk will be held from 12:00 – 1:30pm (CT) on Thursday, November 14 in the Stonewall Conference Room at 625 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 1400, Chicago IL. Lunch will be provided.
About the speaker:
Steven W. Thrasher, PhD, (he/him) is an ISGMH faculty member and the Daniel H. Renberg chair of social justice in reporting at Northwestern University, the first journalism professorship in the world to focus on LGBTQ issues. His writing has been published in the New York Times, Guardian, Atlantic, Nation, Esquire, Journal of American History, BuzzFeed News, and NPR. Thrasher has been named Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist’s Association, and he has received grants from the Ford, Gannett, and Alfred P. Sloan Foundations. In 2017, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American Sociological Association’s journal Contexts. In 2019, he defended a dissertation about race and the criminalization of HIV/AIDS and received a PhD in American Studies from New York University.
About the talk:
In 2013, a Black college student named Michael Johnson was arrested in St. Charles, Missouri, on charges he had knowingly infected or exposed multiple men to HIV. He was eventually sentenced to 30 years in prison before his sentence was overturned. Johnson was known as “Tiger Mandingo” in news accounts, a nickname he used as a college wrestler and in online profiles—a nickname which was all the more racially charged given the majority of Johnson’s sexual partners pressing charges against him were white. “Infectious Blackness” draws upon Steven W. Thrasher’s five years of coverage of the Johnson case for BuzzFeed News, pairing it with his firsthand reporting on the killing of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson for the Guardian. Utilizing ethnography, media analysis, and archival research, “Infectious Blackness” theorizes how Blackness and HIV/AIDS are criminalized and policed in American media.