Intimacy, Desire, and Reproduction: Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Beijing

Feb 4 12:00–1:30pm
Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, MA

Xiying Wang (Professor, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University; HYI Visiting Scholar, 2019-20)
Chair/discussant: Susan Greenhalgh (John King and Wilma Cannon Fairbank Research Professor of Chinese Society, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University)

Co-sponsored with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

This talk focuses on understanding the daily lives of women living with HIV/AIDS (WLHA) and their coping strategies of the illness within the current Chinese society. Selecting intimacy, desire and reproduction as three key concepts to explore their lives, this talk is attentive to the ways in which gender inequality is played out in their practices of romantic and intimate relationships, womanhood and motherhood, marriage and family, sexuality and reproductive health. Through the narrative of their lives, the talk attempts to provide a brief sketch of HIV/AIDS history in China, and illustrate how the HIV/AIDS issue is deeply related to broader social issues including unsafe blood and plasma selling, massive scale of migration, spreading of drug use, emerging LGBT communities and sexual revolution. This talk depicts the institutional and social structure transformation embedded within WLHA’s personal experience in the fast-changing contemporary China.