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New Faculty Member Heather Houser on "AIDS out of the City: The Nature of Discord"

Tue, February 7, 2012 | GEB 4.214

3:30 PM - 6:00 PM

New Faculty Member Heather Houser on

Heather Houser, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Texas will be presenting as part of the New Faculty Colloquium.

"AIDS out of the City" offers an account of an under-analyzed mode of writing about HIV/AIDS: memoirs that moved the disease out of the city in the 1990s. Analyzing works by David Wojnarowicz and Jan Zita Grover, the paper argues that unexpected environmental encounters enable these authors to figure the disconnect between lived experience of AIDS and consensus knowledge about it. They do so through discord, an affect that reconfigures the naturalized equation of beauty, nature, and health.


Heather Houser is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. She received a Ph.D. in English from Stanford University, and a B.A. from Reed College. She is completing a manuscript titled Eco-Sickness: Fictions of Environment, Disease, and Emotion, which argues for the centrality of sickness and affect to environmental culture of the past three decades. She is also pursuing a project that offers an account of contemporary practices of novelistic description in the context of new technologies of visualization. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in American Literature (2011), Contemporary Literature (2010), and The American Book Review (2010), and in the collection, The Legacy of David Foster Wallace: Critical and Creative Assessments (U Iowa Press, 2011). She has received fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, the US Department of Education's Jacob K. Javits Program, and Stanford University.

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    The University of Texas at Austin
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    2505 University Avenue, A4900
    Austin, Texas 78712