Queer Epidemics

Tomasz Sikora

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Pedagogical University of Krakow




This chapter of my book Bodies Out of Rule (2014) considers John Greyson’s Zero Patience – a 1993 musical satire on the early days of the AIDS epidemic – in the context of the epidemiological and immunity discourses inherent in neoliberal biopolitics. Greyson’s film can be read as a queer critique of the broadly understood epidemiological operations of biopower, especially its authoritarian systematizations and taxonomizations that establish a certain “regime of truth” and are a necessary condition for the effective regulation of social practices and subjects. Through my reading of Greyson’s film, I argue for a queer reclamation of the feared figure of the virus as a thoroughly transversal figure that transcends existing boundaries, identities, and cognitive categories.


Keywords: biopolitics, immunization, John Greyson, Zero Patience, virus