Border crossings and mestiza consciousness in AIDS art in the US: a content analysis


Author/Creator ORCID




Towson University. Department of Women's and Gender Studies


Citation of Original Publication


Copyright protected, all rights reserved.
There are no restrictions on access to this document. An internet release form signed by the author to display this document online is on file with Towson University Special Collections and Archives.



In this thesis, I argue that "the AIDS body" faces a crisis of representation. Mainstream representations of the AIDS body work through discourses of sexism, homophobia, and racism to "other" the AIDS body and create arbitrary "borders." I discuss the inadequacies of many US feminist responses to AIDS: namely, their insistence on an oppositional framework that ultimately limited these responses. I suggest that Chicana feminisms offer a framework for action that might broaden the possibilities of feminist response to the AIDS crisis. This framework includes mestiza consciousness and "border"-crossing. AIDS art is one place where the crisis of representation can be addressed and resolved. I undertake an analysis of AIDS art in the US to show that AIDS art can cross "borders" and cultivate mestiza consciousness in such a way as to resolve the crisis of representation faced by the AIDS body.