Chase Ledin is a Ph.D. student, queer theorist, and social historian. His research concerns the social history of HIV and AIDS in the UK and US, the sociology of chronic medicine, and the mechanics of cultural discourse(s) during the HIV treatment era (1996-present). He is especially interested in ‘end of AIDS’ ideology, the PrEP movement, and the processes of historicizing and archiving queer narratives.
Chase received a Bachelor of Arts (2014) in Honors English and Sexuality Studies from The Ohio State University. In his final year, he served as the lead researcher for the gender-inclusive housing task force. In this role, he oversaw a research project on the use of hetero-normative ideologies during the creation of gender non-conforming spaces in university housing policy.
Following his B.A., Chase completed a Master of Arts (2016) in Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory at King’s College London. In his dissertation, he analysed the emergence and cultural consequences of Andrew Sullivan’s end-of-AIDS ideology. Chase argued that resignifying the virus as a ‘liveable condition’ altered death out of the virus’s sustained presence in sexual (particularly first-world) communities. The assimilation of more effective antiretrovirals introduced a ‘chronic life’ that did not retain the history of AIDS’s ‘death-defined’ features. Effectively, the change in the narrative structure of HIV/AIDS has altered the progressive tendencies of remembering the epidemic in linear fashion(s). Sullivan’s ideology laid the groundwork for a larger shift in (queer) community consciousness: namely, a re-negotiation of the forms of affect that emerged from caregiving and community activism during the first-wave AIDS epidemic and the current movement to conceptualise HIV as approaching an (“inevitable”) end.
Currently, Chase is a Ph.D. student at the University of Edinburgh. In his doctoral project, he examines how the medical condition of “chronic HIV” has transformed the historical signifiers “HIV” and “AIDS” during the treatment era (1996-2012). This project is framed by three leading questions: 1) How is chronic HIV defined within socio-medical discourse, particularly in scholarly texts between 1996-2012? 2) How do these socio-medical discourses manifest in cultural discourse, especially in cultural discourses that focus on “HIV disease” as a chronic condition? 3) How do medical discourses about chronic HIV interact, overlap with, and depart from cultural discourses? This research links medical and cultural representations of HIV by providing historical and cultural context for understanding chronic HIV as a medical realism (of modernity). Specifically, it illuminates the historical evolution of HIV/AIDS as a functional language that produces discursive departures located, in particular, at socio-cultural thresholds.