AIDS and the National Body

by Thomas E. Yingling

Part of the Series Q Series

AIDS and the National Body Synopsis

Thomas Yingling was a rising star in American studies, a leading figure in gay and lesbian studies, and a prominent theorist of AIDS and cultural politics when he died in 1992. AIDS and the National Body is a brilliant excursion into the mind and heart of Yingling, author of the critically acclaimed book, Hart Crane and the Homosexual Text. Robyn Wiegman, a friend and colleague of Yingling's, has collected in this book a selection of his critical and creative work. These previously published and unpublished essays, nonacademic prose, poetry, and letters are a powerful testimonial to the intellectual legacy left by Yingling. Contemplating the contradictions of individual identity from within a human body adapting to and living within a collective national culture, Yingling delves into such issues as canon formation, poetic theory, and the rhetoric of the body in American popular culture. In addition to Wiegman's illuminating introduction, the conversation is joined by four other scholars-Michael Awkward, Robert L. Caserio, Stephen Melville, and David Roman-whose critical and personal responses to Yingling's writing weigh in throughout the volume. What emerges is a collection that embodies the particular difficulties of living with AIDS, of outliving someone who has died of AIDS, and of losing prematurely an important thinker.

AIDS and the National Body Press Reviews

Shortly before his death, Yingling had emerged as one of the central theorists of AIDS cultural politics. The loss of his ongoing public contribution is quite evident in these writings. But the publication of his personal writings allows us also to accept this loss as a personal one, and to reflect with him on the changing priorities he experiences as he realizes he is being overwhelmed by the very object of his critical reflection. The essays by his friends and colleagues provide a model for sustaining-by critically engaging-perspectives that we are losing to early deaths. This is how we will survive-mourn and organize and critically reflect on the political and cultural disaster of the AIDS epidemic, even as it continues to take away, among the many fallen comrades, some of the best thinkers of our time. -Cindy Patton, Emory University

Book Information

ISBN: 9780822319733
Publication date: 25th July 1997
Author: Thomas E. Yingling
Publisher: Duke University Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 208 pages
Categories: Literary essays, Gay & Lesbian studies,

About Thomas E. Yingling

Thomas E. Yingling was Associate Professor of English at Syracuse University until his death from AIDS-related causes in 1992. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, Hart Crane and the Homosexual Text.

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