Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic by Richard A. McKay

Richard A. McKay’s Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic is a social history of the early days of the AIDS crisis in North America built around the harmful myth of the “patient zero”. The book contextualizes the story of Gaétan Dugas, the French-Canadian flight attendant who was vilified as the origin of the disease. In a larger history of scapegoating in times of epidemic, McKay’s book delves into Dugas’s personal life as well as the role played by Randy Shilts’ And The Band Played On (1987), the first popular account of the crisis. Continue reading

Conference Review: Recovering May Alcott Nieriker’s Life and Work, Université Paris Diderot

This special guest review comes to us from Amelia Platt, a fifteen-year-old student from Litcham Comprehensive High School and a participant in the Brilliant Club, a charity that employs PhD students to tutor pupils from low-participation backgrounds. Amelia would like to thank her mentor, Azelina Flint, a doctoral candidate and AHRC CHASE Award Holder at the School of American Studies, University of East Anglia. Continue reading