The Language of HIV and AIDS


Spring 2017

Tuesday, 7:00 - 8:30 PM, Crowell BB Commons 101C

How do the ways in which people speak about HIV and AIDS create a shared knowledge that has the power to affect health outcomes? This course will take an interdisciplinary look into how societal schemas of HIV and AIDS disease and illness are produced via language and culture. Delving into a range of inquiry, from the history of cultural attitudes and stigma to how the science of the virus lends itself to a set of linguistic norms, will give students a better understanding of language's role in constructing health and wellness. HIV and AIDS will be examined in the light of cross-cultural and cross-generational contexts by taking approaches from linguistics, medical anthropology, global health, and biology. This will involve studying not only patient-doctor discourse and public health campaigns, but also examining how the predominant attitudes of those privileged enough to have their voices heard have created a language for a disease and illness which has the potential to affect people of various identities.

  • Stephanie Asdell,
  • Edna Andrews, Linguistics
Class Limit: