Aziza Ahmed, Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law, will discuss her current book project Risk and Rage: How Feminists Transformed the Law and Science of AIDS. The book recovers the stories of feminist organizing in the 1980s to show how feminists resisted the idea that women were biologically resistant to HIV. Against a linear account of scientific progress, this book argues that it was actually activists, including the ACT-UP women’s caucus and lawyers, who forced the CDC to change their definition of AIDS. Through this project Professor Ahmed documents how feminists saw that public health advocacy not only requires reworking legal rules to better health outcomes, it is also often necessary to destabilize scientific settlements and the consensus of experts as well. In the context of AIDS, feminists not only changed the legal governance of AIDS, they altered the scientific trajectory of the epidemic.
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