Epidemic imaginary: Performing global figurations of “Third World AIDS”

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This article is a narrative experiment written in the hope of illuminating "Third World AIDS" less as a geographically situated pandemic than as dispersed and dispersing encounters of mobile figurations. Using HIV/AIDS in Thailand as a case, the author argues that to move beyond the dominant understanding of "Third World AIDS" today - influenced mainly by epidemiology and anthropology - we need to attend to a mobile mediascape that manages to bypass the medicoethnographic sphere to invest in discursive encounters, awaiting framing and materialization. As such, this article posits the performative movement of figurative imagination as an alternative materiality, one that engages with the "diseased other" ethically and postnationally. While AIDS rages on in the 21st century, the narrative/figurative encounters staged in this article continue to present an uneasy picture about nation, gender, (queer) sex, activism, and power. Copyright © 2006 Sage Publications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-452
JournalSpace and Culture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


Erni, J. N. (2006). Epidemic imaginary: Performing global figurations of “Third World AIDS”. Space and Culture, 9(4), 429-452. doi: 10.1177/1206331206292448


  • Third World AIDS
  • Mobile figurations
  • Thailand
  • Mediascape
  • Postnationalism


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