Book Launch: Gowri Vijayakumar – At risk: Indian sexual politics and the global AIDS crisis

Gowri Vijayakumar is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her research and teaching use feminist and transnational perspectives to illuminate the trajectories of social movements, the everyday life of the state, and the political economy of globalization.

Her new book, At Risk: Indian Sexual Politics and the Global AIDS Crisis, uses over 150 in-depth interviews and ethnographic research across India and Kenya to show how activist groups of sex workers and LGBTQ people engaged, and often challenged, corporate donors, state agencies, and biomedical experts; became central to India’s AIDS response; and transformed themselves in the process. Moving across the spaces of everyday life, grassroots HIV prevention, NGOs, and state agencies, the book argues that the AIDS response generated a new terrain for articulating Indian sexual identity, both within and beyond India’s borders. It ultimately reveals how gender, sexuality, and nation shape crisis response, and traces the realignments crisis occasions for political and sexual life.

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