Cait McKinney on Crisis Infrastructures: AIDS Activism Meets Online Content Regulation


Arts Building Room 260, 853 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 0G5, CA

Dr. Cait McKinney will discuss new research on AIDS activist interventions with early internet censorship. The talk is entitled, Crisis Infrastructures: AIDS Activism meets Online Content Regulation.

During the 1990s, cultural understandings of HIV were inseparable from attempts to define the place of sexuality online, and regulate “appropriate” internet use. This talk documents how HIV/AIDS activists responded to the 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA), a sweeping set of internet regulations in the U.S. that threatened to marginalize sexual expression online, including explicit information about HIV transmission.

Dr. Cait McKinney is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. She was previously an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, Northridge. Formerly SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto and Media@McGill Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University, Montréal. She researches how queer and feminist social movements use new digital technologies to create and circulate information. She holds a PhD in Communication and Culture from York University, and has taught in communication studies, media and information studies, and sexuality studies. Her research is interested in how queer and feminist social movements use digital technologies to build alternative information infrastructures. She focuses on how these movements struggle to provide vital access to information using new digital tools, within conditions where that access is often precarious. For example, she has published on digitization strategies at queer community archives , lesbian-feminist newsletter networks, and community internet infrastructures built by AIDS activists.

This event is part of the Feminist and Accessible Publishing and Communications Technologies Speaker and Workshop Series ( This series was made possible thanks to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies of McGill, MILA, the Dean of Arts Development Fund of McGill, Media @McGill, McGill's Department of History and Classical Studies, the William Dawson Fund, RéQEF, the Moving Image Research Laboratory, Element AI, and L'Euguélionne: Montreal's Feminist Bookstore.

There is no fee required to attend this event. Notes on accessibility will be announced closer to the event.

Back to top