University of Rochester

EVENT: 'Looking at AIDS 30 Years On'

January 20, 2012

Exploring the Relationship between AIDS and Global Culture

Since the discovery of the AIDS virus 30 years ago, public health campaigns have used images to create awareness of the deadly disease. Looking back, these images also reflect a history of society's evolving attitudes toward the disease, homosexuality, fear, and the understanding of links between sex and AIDS.

On January 25 and 26, the University of Rochester will look at the relationship between AIDS and global culture in art, activism, and academia, through film screenings, a lecture by author and anthropologist Cindy Patton, and the opening of Picturing AIDS and Its Publics, an exhibition of educational posters and related ephemera from the University's AIDS Educational Poster Collection.

Organized by the University of Rochester's Humanities Project, Looking at AIDS: 30 Years On takes place on the University's River Campus. All events are open to the public. For additional information details, visit

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 25, 6 p.m.
Screening of three films by filmmaker and activist John Greyson
"The World is Sick," "The Pink Pimpernel," and "The AIDS Epidemic."
University of Rochester River Campus
Plutzik Room, Rare Books and Special Collections, Rush Rhees Library

John Greyson is a filmmaker, video artist, writer, activist and associate professor in the Department of Film at York University. Descriptions of his films can be found at

THURSDAY, JAN. 26, 5:30 p.m.
Craig Owens Memorial Lecture given by Cindy Patton
"Buggering John Greyson: Works on AIDS, Sex, and Politics from the 1980s"
University of Rochester River Campus
Hawkins-Carlson Room, Rush Rhees Library

Cindy Patton holds the Canada Research Chair in Community Culture and Health at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, where she is professor of women's studies, sociology, and anthropology. Her talk will examine Greyson's early film work documenting AIDS activism and debates about representations of safe sex.

THURSDAY, JAN. 26, 7 p.m.
Picturing AIDS and Its Publics: Educational Posters from the Atwater Collection Reception and opening for the exhibition of AIDS educational materials from the Atwater Collection Curated by Berin Golonu and Alexander Brier Marr, doctoral students in Visual and Cultural Studies.
University of Rochester River Campus
Plutzik Room, Rare Books and Special Collections, Rush Rhees Library

Drawing from the Atwater Collection of AIDS educational posters and related ephemera, Picturing AIDS and Its Publics shows the changing look of AIDS. The collection, which can be found online at, is the largest of its kind, consisting of more than 6,200 posters from 100 plus countries in 60 languages. For additional information about the collection visit,

The exhibition can be seen in Rare Books and Special Collections and in the entrance to Rush Rhees Library. It opens Jan. 26 and closes May 21.

The posters in the University of Rochester AIDS Education Collection are presented here for research purposes only, and may be protected by copyright either according to US law or according to the laws applicable in their countries of origin. Any further reproduction of the materials may require copyright or other rights clearance and is the sole responsibility of the user.