Book Pages: 160 Illustrations: 1 b&w photograph Published: August 1997

Author: Eric Michaels

Editor: Paul Foss

Contributor(s): Michael Moon, Simon Watney

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Gender and Sexuality > LGBTQ Studies

In 1982, the American-born anthropologist Eric Michaels went to Australia to research the impact of television on remote aboriginal communities. Over the next five years, until his death, he became a major intellectual presence in Australia. Unbecoming is Michaels’s gritty, provocative, and intellectually powerful account of living with AIDS—a chronicle of the last year of his life as he became increasingly ill. Michaels’s diary offers a forceful and ironic rumination on the cultural phenomenon of AIDS, how it relates to his concerns as both an anthropologist and a gay man, and the failure of medical and governmental institutions to come to terms with the disease. Like the AIDS testimony of artist David Wojnarowicz and filmmaker Derek Jarman, Unbecoming provides a view of the AIDS epidemic from a distinctly new vantage point.


“The diary is full of Michaels’s rage and frustration; it is also full of a wild kind of humor that can, under extreme circumstances, be the heart’s only alternative to feeling—to paraphrase Swift’s epitaph—lacerated by indignation.” — From the preface by Michael Moon


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Eric Michaels is the author of Bad Aboriginal Art, For a Cultural Future, and The Aboriginal Invention of Television. At the time of his death he was Lecturer in Media Studies at Griffith University in Brisbane. Michael Moon is the author of Disseminating Whitman. Simon Watney is the author of Policing Desire and Practices of Freedom (Duke University Press). Paul Foss is the editor and publisher of Art & Text.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface to the Duke Edition, by Michael Moon ix

Foreword, by Paul Foss xvii

Introduction, by Simon Watney xxi

Unbecoming 1
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2014-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2005-0
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