Centre for Feminist Research presents
Visiting Scholar Dr. Barbara Baird (Flinders)
“Endangering Life: The Raced Politics of Gender in an Australian Case of the Criminalization of Exposure to HIV”
introduced by Professor David Murray
Wednesday, October 8, 3-5pm, 280N York Lanes
Please RSVP to this event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This paper tells a story of the criminalisation of exposure to HIV in recent times in Australia. It concerns John Chan, an Australian citizen of Sudanese background living in Adelaide, South Australia. Mr Chan came to Australia as a refugee in 1999. In 2004 he was diagnosed with HIV and, after first coming to the attention of the South Australian Health Department authorities, in 2009 he was arrested on a charge of ‘Endangering Life’ for having unprotected (consensual) sex with three women and thus exposing them to the virus. In mid 2011 he was sentenced to five and a half years in gaol. The paper uses John Chan’s story as a case study through which to analyse some aspects of contemporary gender relations in Australia. Its focus is on the position of white women in a cultural and political environment characterised by both conservative and neo-liberal discourses of gender and sexuality.
Barbara Baird is an Associate Professor in Women’s Studies at Flinders University in South Australia. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Feminist Research at York. Her research focuses on histories and cultural politics of sexuality and reproduction in contemporary Australia, with particular attention to their shaping by discourses of race and national identity. She is particularly interested in the politics of abortion and is currently embarking on a cultural history of the provision of abortion services in Australia since 1990. She is also part of a collaborative project to historicise sexual citizenship in Australia. Her work is widely published in journals of history and gender and sexuality studies.