Hannah Waits, Harvard University | Newberry

Hannah Waits, Harvard University

Friday, October 9, 2020

3-4:30 pm CDT

Held Virtually via Zoom, Register for Link 

Religion and Culture in the Americas Seminar

Missionary Positions: How American Evangelicals Learned to Love Global AIDS Relief, Hannah Waits

When the AIDS epidemic began in the 1980s, US evangelicals were some of the most implacable foes of AIDS victims domestically, but by the early 2000s evangelicals had become the face of AIDS relief internationally. This dramatic shift was possible because missionaries reshaped American evangelicals’ views of AIDS in the 1990s-2000s. Drawing on never-before-seen sources, this paper traces evangelical missionary work in the 1980s-2000s and demonstrates that missionaries shifted US evangelicals’ understanding of AIDS by recasting the epidemic within the racialized affective hierarchies of missions, thereby rousing white evangelicals’ sympathy for and desire to save black and brown suffering bodies across the world.

Respondent: Dan Hummel, The University of Wisconsin-Madison

Cost and Registration Information 

This event is free, but all participants must register in advance and space is limited. To register and request a copy of the pre-circulated paper, email scholarlyseminars@newberry.org. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.