TNCC Professor Publishes Book, “AIDS & American Apocalypticism”


Published: September 8, 2005

Dr. Thomas L. Long, Professor of English at Thomas Nelson Community College has published a book AIDS and American Apocalypticism: The Cultural Semiotics of an Epidemic. Published by the State University of New York Press, the book looks at how both anti-gay and AIDS activists, including artists, writers, scientists, and journalists have used apocalyptic language to describe HIV/AIDS, to mobilize attention to the medical crisis, to prevent the spread of the disease, and to treat the HIV infected. The product of a decade of research and using the analytical tools of literary analysis, cultural studies, performance theory, and social semiotics, AIDS and American Apocalypticism examines many kinds of discourse, including fiction, drama, performance art, demonstration graphics and brochures, biomedical publications, and journalism and shows that, while initially useful, the effects of apocalyptic rhetoric in the long term are dangerous. Among the important figures in AIDS activism and the arts discussed are David Drake, Tim Miller, Larry Kramer, Sarah Schulman, and Tony Kushner, as well as the organizations ACT UP and Lesbian Avengers.

Dr. Tom Long is available for interviews, book signings, and readings. Copies of the book are for sale directly from the State University of New York Press web site or national book stores and their Web sites.

Comments on Long’s book:
“Thomas L. Long offers perceptive readings of recent novels and dramas and links the discussion to his broader argument. His insights and conclusions are shrewd and certainly help one think about the works in fresh and illuminating ways.” — Paul S. Boyer, Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Companion to United States History.

“This book is impressive in its depth of scholarship and fascinating to read.” — Susan J. Palmer, author of AIDS as an Apocalyptic Metaphor in North America

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