Document Type


Publication Date



The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Canada continues to be a defining moment in queer trauma and cultural production. Since the 1990s, queer academics and theorists have become increasingly interested in how queer people navigate and negotiate trauma. With the establishment of Queer Studies and Gothic Studies, the two fields have been considered complementary both historically and contemporarily. Queer academics and theorists have discovered that queer cultural production continuously evokes gothic themes, tropes, and atmospheres to understand cultural trauma. Previous research primarily focuses on literature, and my research seeks to expand the field into visual mediums. My research is interested in understanding how queer cultural production’s use of gothic tropes in HIV/AIDS has changed throughout the decades and has shaped queer experience in Canada. I collect Canadian HIV/AIDS visual art, filmography, photography, and mixed-media art to conduct a visual and sociopolitical discourse analysis to understand the phenomenological experience of queer people in Canada. My findings unearth significant change in the ways themes of death, ghosts, and haunting are used in HIV/AIDS art, providing a unique insight into the changing phenomenological experiences of queer people in Canada, which are still heavily haunted by temporal and cultural trauma. My research is significant because it unearths new queer knowledge production, showcasing how queer Canadians have created new forms of understanding cultural trauma that resist and challenge mainstream traumatic discourse.

Included in

Anthropology Commons