Chase M. Ledin is a cultural theorist and socio-medical historian. His research concerns the history of HIV and AIDS in the UK, the sociology of chronic medicine, and the mechanics of chronic discourse(s) in the HIV treatment era (1996-present). He is especially interested in the rhetoric of ‘end of AIDS’ ideology and the processes of historicizing and archiving chronic 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 hetero-normative influence in 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 consequences of Andrew Sullivan’s end-of-AIDS ideology. He argued that resignifying the virus as a ‘liveable condition’ altered death out of the virus’s sustained presence in sexual (especially queer) 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.
Chase will resume his Ph.D. (entitled ‘Post-AIDS: The Discursive Mechanics of Chronic HIV and the Politics of Post-Progress’) in September 2018. In his doctoral project, he seeks to research how the medical condition of “chronic HIV” has transformed HIV/AIDS during the treatment era (1996-present). This project asks three crucial questions: 1) How is HIV/AIDS represented as socio-medical discourse in post-96 scholarly texts? 2) How is HIV/AIDS represented in cultural discourse that constructs it as a chronic condition? 3) How do medical discourses about chronic HIV interact and overlap with political discourses? This research is unique in producing a theoretical bridge between medical and cultural representations of HIV, supplementing existing studies of chronic HIV by clarifying its place within broader thinking about the on-going privatisation of healthcare within first-world, neoliberal democracies.