Example research essay topic: Aids In Contemporary Gay And Lesbian Fiction – 765 words

Based on reflections made as part of activities of
the project developed by me along with Professor
Italo Morriconi at Universidade do Estado do Rio
de Janeiro, entitled Body and History in
contemporary literature and culture: the writing
of AIDS (critical reading and documentary
researches), and having as its start point a
comparative study on gay literature – more
specifically, the writing of AIDS – I have decided
to start a research about what seemed to be an
important issue in the understanding of the
homosexual literary production in the
post-Stonewall era: the reference, in North
American LGTB literature, of its most impressive
contemporary mark, the AIDS epidemic. This project
evolves around the writing of AIDS in homoerotic
texts. For writing of AIDS it is understood the
effects that the emergence of the epidemic had
over the homosexual community, as well as the
impact of this presence in literature. It is
undeniable the fact that the appearance of AIDS is
responsible for an alteration in the process
through which the homosexual is absorbed by the
heterosexual community, and by the homosexual
community itself. Such alteration inflicted a new
perception of the self, one that transformed the
gay and lesbian literature in a irreversible way.
The gay universe, then, is forever touched by
AIDS, its birth, personification and presence.
Since 1980, when AIDS appeared in America, it has
changed from an unspeakable secret to an
acknowledged and written reality. In the Reagan
years it caused a change in the direction of gay
and lesbian poetry and fiction.

An amazing amount
of AIDS literature has emerged since, specially
considering the short span of the epidemic, and in
the United States the majority of this literature
has been gay. This reflects the destruction in the
gay community caused by the disease, as well as a
gap between the sub division of the gay
literature: the male and the female writing.
Although the lesbian community have not been as
struck as their gay brothers by the AIDS pandemic,
they have suffered their losses. And although
lesbians are involved with AIDS related causes –
having also experienced some of the social
backlash from the epidemic- they have, strangely,
written very little about it. Bonnie Zimmerman
suggests that this has much to say about the
general mood of the community today; lesbians are
more inclined to act than to write about it. And
this fight against the disease unites both the gay
and the lesbian community. In many ways, the
struggle against AIDS has brought gay man and
lesbians alike back to 1969, where the fight
began.

In the literary and cultural contemporary
universes it is undeniable the importance of the
queer studies. Queer studies include the exam, the
analysis and the interpretation of the phenomenon
characterized by the ones emotional, romantic and
sexual preferences for other of the same sex. It
is, due to its nature, a trans-disciplinary study,
covering a wide range of intellectual basis:
literature, history, religion, psychology,
sociology, philosophy, anthropology, medicine,
law, arts, among others. This intellectual and
cultural presence is questioned, denied or
marginalized by inhibiting factors such as legal
restrictions on specific ways of sexual behavior,
the lack of organization among the LGTB community,
and the resistance to the acceptance by a society
– in its majority composed of heterosexual – of
the values and merits of the different forms of
emotional and erotic expression. Once that the
homosexual literature and culture can be found
more and more integrated and linked to the studies
of gender, body and history, it is evident the
importance of the body as an instrument in the
formation of a social identity, and that the use
of such instrument, its different forms and
aspects, influence the maintenance of such
identity. It is then that AIDS becomes one of the
most important questions in this area.

This
project is a study in the comparative and
transnational areas, being that it deals with the
differences and similarities in the writing of a
same subject by authors of different genders. A
critical-comparative analysis of the works of two
prominent authors in the LGTB contemporary
American literature – Paul Monette and Sarah
Schulman – will be made, and its goal is not only
to establish differences and similarities in the
writing of AIDS, but also to draw a parallel
between the female and the male literary texts.
This comparison cannot avoid examining the double
standard of exclusion related to the lesbian
community -gender and sexual orientation – as well
as the bigger impact the male gay community
suffered as a consequence of the emergence of
AIDS..

Research essay sample on Aids In Contemporary Gay And Lesbian Fiction