In 1982, the American-born anthropologist Eric Michaels went to Australia to research the impact of television on remote aboriginal communities. Over the next five years, until his death, he became a major intellectual presence in Australia. Unbecoming is Michaels's gritty, provocative, and intellectually powerful account of living with AIDS-a chronicle of the last year of his life as he became increasingly ill. Michaels's diary offers a forceful and ironic rumination on the cultural phenomenon of AIDS, how it relates to his concerns as both an anthropologist and a gay man, and the failure of medical and governmental institutions to come to terms with the disease. Like the AIDS testimony of artist David Wojnarowicz and filmmaker Derek Jarman, Unbecoming provides a view of the AIDS epidemic from a distinctly new vantage point.
Eric Michaels is the author of Bad Aboriginal Art, For a Cultural Future, and The Aboriginal Invention of Television. At the time of his death he was Lecturer in Media Studies at Griffith University in Brisbane. Michael Moon is the author of Disseminating Whitman. Simon Watney is the author of Policing Desire and Practices of Freedom (Duke University Press). Paul Foss is the editor and publisher of Art & Text.
Preface to the Duke Edition, by Michael Moon ix Foreword, by Paul Foss xvii Introduction, by Simon Watney xxi Unbecoming 1