Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



This paper was part of the 2012-2013 Penn Humanities Forum on Peripheries. Find out more at


In "Furious Acts," I explore the different ways in which art and artistic production were used in AIDS activism between 1980 and 1996 by such artistic and activist organizations as ACT-UP, the Radical Faeries, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Gran Fury, the NAMES Project, and the Gay Men's Health Crisis. My project is organized thematically to understand how artistic practice influenced collective identity, safer sex education, and the role of mourning in AIDS activism. I also examine how different artistic media (video, photography, performance, craft) were used for unique purposes and audiences. Ultimately, I aim to show that the artistic practices of AIDS activism were far more than aesthetic and creative outlets; they were also vital forms of communication, education, and advocacy.


AIDS, activism



Date Posted: 17 November 2016