Timothy Gitzen lectures of sexuality and biosecurity in South Korea

Sexuality and Biosecurity in South Korea

Timothy Gitzen lectures of sexuality and biosecurity in South KoreaWhat does it mean to be a national security threat as a queer person during a public health crisis in contemporary South Korea? Dr. Timothy Gitzen will address that question Tuesday, February 12, 2019, in a lecture titled “The Threat of Queer Bodies: HIV, Sexuality, and Biosecurity in South Korea.”

The lecture, sponsored by the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Department of Women’s Studies, will take place from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. in Crawford Hall 115 on the Mānoa campus.

Timothy Gitzen is an anthropologist, writer, speaker, teacher, and queer activist. He is currently a Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute for Korean Studies at Indiana University.

In his talk, Gitzen will focus on how anti-LGBT organizations used the biosecurity context of the spring 2015 outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrom (MERS) in South Korea to engender fear around HIV and queer people. Such people were, he says, reduced to their bodies and their bodies to a virus, no longer persons but threats in need of isolation. He argues that queer and HIV/AIDS activists responded to the fear of HIV and queer bodies by reinscribing corporeal threats with personhood.

Gitzen earned his Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on sexuality and security, LGBT health and violence, and social justice in South Korea. His publications include “Bad Mothers and ‘Abominable Lovers’: Goodness and Gayness in Korea,” in Mothering in East Asian Communities: Politics and Practices, ed. Patti Duncan and Gina Wong (2014); “Sex/Gender Insecurities: Trans Bodies and the South Korean Military,” co-authored with Horim Yi, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 5.3 (2018); and “Ripples of Trauma: Queer Bodies and the Temporality of Violence in Contemporary South Korea,” in the forthcoming collection Queer Korea, to be published by Duke University Press.

For further information about this event, contact the Department of Women’s Studies at (808) 956-7464; fax (808) 956-9616; e-mail wsdept@hawaii.edu.

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