Week 7: Ranchod-Nilsson & Bahri

Week 7 focused on how the HIV/AIDS epidemic unfolded in Zimbabwe and  India. Dr. Ranchod-Nilson talked specifically about gender politics in Zimbabwe and how they were impacted by structural factors and social inequalities. She explained that the country was slow to respond to the epidemic (first case was in 1985, first national policy was in 1999). The basis of the economy is agriculture and mining both which depend heavily on regional transportation routes. This is one way the disease “traveled.”

Dr. Bahri talked about her work in Tamil Nadu, in southern India. An an English professor, she asked the students to think of the “story” of HIV/AIDS in India. She wondered whose story is and is not told and who are the “cast of characters” we hear about. Dr. Bahri also talked about the impact of colonial regimes on our understanding of women, reproduction, sexuality, nation, and belonging in this area. Finally, in her work with sex workers and NGO’s  in Tamil Nadu she found it was important to focus on “family” (kutumba) and “diginity” (maryada).


  • Bahri, Deepika. “Partners In Prevention: AIDS Prevention and Control in Tamil Nadu.”
  • Ranchod-Nilsson, Sita. “Gender Politics and the Pendulum and Social Transformation in Zimbabwe.” Journal of African Studies. Vol. 32, No.1. March 2006. 49-67.

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