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Radical Acts HIV/AIDS Activism in Late Twentieth-Century England George Severs

Radical Acts HIV/AIDS Activism in Late Twentieth-Century England George Severs


Radical Acts- HIV/AIDS Activism in Late Twentieth-Century England publishes 30 May 2024 


Drawing on activist campaign literature and materials, broadcast media, and new oral history interviews, Severs reconstructs and discusses the overlooked world of radical AIDS activism in England. This book provides one of the first detailed histories of the radical HIV/AIDS movement in England, following ACT UP's travels from New York to London via prominent queer intellectuals, and reconstructing the vibrant theatrical campaigns staged by ACT UP groups across England. 

Radical Acts explores expressions of activism that were far more common than demonstrations and marches. Manifestations of a political commitment to ameliorating the injustices facing people living with HIV permeated most aspects of everyday life. These forms of 'everyday activism' played out in workplaces, universities and church halls across England, as well as through networks that stretched across Europe and North America. This book breaks new ground by studying the radical alongside the everyday, presenting a diverse constellation of activist responses to the epidemic.




'Radical Acts is a breath-taking analysis of activism against the HIV/AIDS epidemic that blends local, street-level confrontations with everyday acts of engagement and friendship. George Severs explores the diversity of activist movements: conflicts, creativity, silences, and solidarity. This perfectly crafted and surprisingly optimistic book also hints at the future of activism'. - Joanna Bourke, Birkbeck, University of London


'With an engaging writing style, Severs combines insightful theorizing with rich detail. Through the wealth of experiences it narrates, and its careful analysis, Radical Acts does not only look back at a complex historical moment but also makes sense of it for our future.' - Jaime García-Iglesias, University of Edinburgh, UK


'AIDS activism has taken many forms with variable identities and stages. George Severs' book ranges widely and with insight over activist groups from UK ACTUP to Positively Women, from religious groups such as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to the Jewish AIDS Trust. Using oral histories, it draws our attention to quieter activism , to the growth of the 'AIDS sector' and to the continuing international significance of activist links and connections. A valuable addition to the history of HIV/AIDS activism.' - Virginia Berridge, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK


'George Severs' book is deeply scholarly and wonderfully readable at the same time. It charts the progress of HIV activism here in the UK, its battle with stigma and exclusion, its triumphs and its challenges, its links with queer radicalism, and the continuing need we all have for both. This is an illuminating and essential story.' - Lord Chris Smith, Master of Pembroke College, the University of Cambridge, UK




  • Details

    Imprint: Bloomsbury Academic

    Publication date: 30/05/24

    ISBN: 9781350374522

    Pages: 256

    Format: Paperback

Notice to European Customers

All European Customers: You may be required to pay a local import tax on or before delivery for parcels entering the EU. Please check your local import rules for purchases from the UK.


Germany and Republic of Ireland: Due to a high return rate of parcels, we are sadly no longer shipping to Germany and the Republic of Ireland. 

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