Rowman and Littlefield International

Materialities of Sex in a Time of HIV

The Promise of Vaginal Microbicides

By Annette-Carina van der Zaag

Part of the series Critical Perspectives on Theory, Culture and Politics

Publication Date: Aug 2017

Pages 256

Hardback 9781783488414
£85.00 €119.00 $125.00
Ebook 9781783488438
£27.99 €39.99 $40.99
Not available for pre-order
Contemporary feminist theory has moved into posthuman terrains as feminist theorists utilise human/nonhuman relations and a motley crew of nonhuman entities to reinvigorate feminist critique of nature/culture dichotomies. But what place is left for sex/gender relations in this move beyond the human?
Materialities of Sex in a Time of HIV is written on the cusp of feminist theory of materiality and the analysis of an object at the heart of various sex/gender manifestations – the vaginal microbicide. Vaginal microbicides are female-initiated HIV prevention methods (currently tested in clinical trials) designed as creams, rings, gels and sponges that women can insert vaginally before having sex to protect themselves against HIV infection. The microbicide is developed as a tool for women’s empowerment in the HIV epidemic, but what happens to feminist ideals when they materialise through biomedical practice? This book provides an analysis of the field of microbicide development to articulate the complexity of its promise and material effects; and utilises the microbicide as an analytical ally in a provocative debate with contemporary feminist theory.

1. Introduction: A new materialism? / 2. Giving Women Power over AIDS / 3. A Promise of Empowerment: problems with the sex/gender dichotomy /4. The Feminist Purchase of Agential Realism / 5. Vaginal Spaces of Geopolitical Conflict: the story of Nonoxynol-9 / 6. On the Figure and the Real /7. A Promise of Facticity / 8. The Geopolitics of Agential Realism /9. A Posthuman Promise: sex positivity disrupted / 10. Conclusion: Feminist Futures / Glossary / Bibliography / Index
Annette-Carina van der Zaag holds a PhD in Sociology from Goldsmiths, University of London. She is co-chair of The HIV Project housed within the Unit of Play at Goldsmiths. Her research practice engages feminist theorisations of the development of novel biomedical HIV prevention methods, such as vaginal microbicides and PrEP.

Also Recommended