My NAMES Project research surrounds attitudes towards AIDS and the narrative of individuals with AIDS with a focus on literature and activism. The primary focus of my NAMES Project Research involved the panel of David Feinberg and the pane of Dr. David Eichberg. While both panels are a tribute to individuals who were activists, Mr. Feinberg’s panel is centered on activism correlated to HIV/AIDS, in comparison to the panel of Dr. Eichberg, which surrounds the theme of Coming Out Day; a movement in the LGBT community. Literature can be used as a tool for discovering attitudes and emotions that surround a difficult topic such as AIDS. Individuals with AIDS face a scary and life-threatening reality. I wanted not only to study other people’s attitudes towards AIDS during the late 20th century, but I wanted to focus on individuals stories.
As I researched the life of David Feinberg, I was only reaffirmed of the depth literature holds. As his panel held many clues to what was going to be a huge research endeavor, I had to ask myself some essential questions before I even began to research. I wanted to know what phrases such as “Spontaneous Combustion” and “Eighty-Sixed” meant. I also would then have to figure out who was David Feinberg? As the panel had little detail on it, there was the wonder on what my research endeavors would result in. Once I found out that Mr. Feinberg was an activist and an author I wanted to know what attitudes were illustrated in his publications? What emotions and stories were captured in his novels?
As I entered the phase of Unit II, with a new unit came the addition of new sources in addition to new discoveries. While PSD I focused on David Feinberg, my PSD II focuses on Dr. Rob Eichberg. Dr. Eichberg was also an author and an activist. Dr. Eichberg was a pivotal figure in the Coming Out Movement. LGBT activism is now the second focus of my research. Dr. Eichberg was an activist and an author as well. However, as I continued my research, I concluded that the term “activism” is held little constraints. Activism is diverse. Activism comes in many forms and can serve many purposes.
Discovering who Dr. Eichberg did not prove as difficult as David Feinberg, due to the fact that Dr. Eichberg’s panel had a quote, a National Coming Out Day sticker and many other subtle hints that activism was part of his legacy.
In only a short amount of time, I was able to find answers to my questions and look into how the power of activism is nothing to be taken lightly. I would argue that it is activism that has moved America forward on a multitude of issues. David Feinberg was an author who used his own experience with AIDS to capture the attention of many. His publications and speeches were not conventional, as he pushed a harsh reality and brought it to life in his books. Mr. Feinberg was a bold activist who never let AIDS keep him from using his voice for the greater good. It is through newspaper articles, novels by Mr. Feinberg, and the panel itself; that I was able to use secondary research to capture the life of a bold activist. Dr. Eichberg used activism in a way to provide comfort to gay individuals who were suffering in silence. The message of Dr. Echberg was simple-do not be ashamed of who you are, be proud. Dr. Eichberg served as a figure for those who were afraid. The Coming Out Day movement served as a safe haven for individuals who felt isolated, afraid, and filled with uncertainty about what coming to terms with their own sexuality would mean.
My annotated bibliography serves as an area for the resources I used when conducting my research and creating both of my PSDs. My research is not mine alone, but rather research that was put together from looking back into the past and bringing material culture, past legacies, and the stories of others to life.
Dunlap, David W. “David Feinberg, 37, an Author Who Wrote of Life With AIDS.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 Nov. 1994, www.nytimes.com/1994/11/04/obituaries/david-feinberg-37-an-author-who-wrote-of-life-with-aids.html.
David W. Dunlap, New York Times Columnist, evaluated the novels of David Feinberg and also gives background on the life of Feinberg. Dunlap is able to create his article through using the novels of Feinberg as resources such as “Spontaneous Combustion” and “Eighty-Sixed” in order to construct a clear and concise article. Dunlap asserts that through being “arrested half a dozen times at demonstrations sponsored by the group to protest official indifference or hostility” (Dunlap) and through his novels that ” devastation of gay life in New York by the AIDS epidemic” that David Feinberg was a strong and passionate activist. Those compelled to read this article would be searching for information on Mr. Feinberg and a quick synopsis of his novels. This column would interest those researching AIDS or research examples of activism in the 20th century.
This source provided me with a context of the person Mr. Feinberg was and how his novels tied into the theme of activism. The source gave me the opportunity to simply learn more about Mr. Feinberg and assisted in my research of using literature as a way to illustrate the activism in Mr. Feinberg.
David B. Feinberg, Tony Kushner (Introduction), et al. “Queer and Loathing.” By David B. Feinberg, www.goodreads.com/book/show/426711.Queer_and_Loathing.
Authors David Feinberg and Tony Kushner give the reader a short introduction to the novel “Queer and Loathing”. I short analysis is offered in Tony Kushner’s introduction to David Feinberg’s book. Good Reads wants to promote the message of each book it showcases with the hope the books story, message, or theme is illustrated clearly.The audience targeted are researchers interested in prose and poetry. Poetry majors might find this source site interesting as “Queer and “Loathing” is a book made up of Feinberg’s personal poems.
This source did help me in my research endeavors. I was able to build on my knowledge of Feinberg’s novels and find a novel that was not originally depicted in the quilt and find out even more about Feinberg’s publications.
Background on the novel “Eighty-Sixed” was found on Google Books which illustrates a summary of the novel. The summary of the book is able to be illustrated by the use of the book itself to capture an accurate description of Feinberg’s novel. Google Books wants each person to walk away with basic knowledge of Feinberg’s book “Eighty-Sixed”. Students who are researching books that deal with AIDS would be a targeted audience. People who want to know more about Feinberg’s publications would be interested in this mini summary of “Eighty-SIxed”.
The Google Books summary of “Eighty-Sixed” was extremely helpful as I was conducting light research on each of Feinberg’s titles found on his panel. It was helpful in the sense that since the PSD was not a book report, I need to find a short background on each book. This resource provided me with a light summary to help me discover what “Eighty-Sixed” was all about.
Quilt, NAMES. “Exploring the Quilt .” AIDS Quilt Touch, aidsquilttouch.org/experience-quilt.
The NAMES Foundation is a nonprofit organization with the goal of spreading awareness and celebrating the life and legacies of individuals who have passed because of AIDS. The NAMES Foundation creates memorial through the AIDS quilt, which is the key centerpiece of my research. The NAMES Foundation wants to use the quilt in order to promote awareness towards AIDS and educate individuals on the importance of working towards a cure for AIDS. Many GSU students are given the opportunity to conduct their own research when it comes to the NAMEs Quilt and therefore would be an audience for going to see the Atlanta NAMES gallery in person. I find tourist would be intrigued by the NAMES Gallary as it is showcased here in the heart of Atlanta.
The gallery was basically the rock center of my research. Without the gallery, none of my research would have taken place in the first place. I am grateful to Rody and all of the staff at the NAMES Gallary for ensuring that the resources in the gallery we accessible, as the quilt itself was my guide to honoring a legacy.
Royse, David, and Barbara Bridge. “Homophobia and Attitudes Towards AIDS Among Medical, Nursing and Paramedical Students .” Http://Journals.sagepub.com/Doi/Pdf/10.2466/pr0.19126.96.36.1997, University of Kentucky, 1987, journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.2466/pr0.19188.8.131.527.
Authors David Royse and Barbara Bridge offer first-hand insight into attitudes towards AIDS through a medical lens. The authors collected data through a “25 item questionnaire” and by questioning “161 students” aspiring to work in the medical field. Royse and Bridge want the reader to know that after the research was collected that the attitudes of homophobia towards AIDS victims were about half and half, asserting that attitudes towards AIDS in the 1980’s were not only skeptical but often times discriminatory. Students conducting dense, scholarly research would find this journal and the results telling as the authors identify a cultural shift which is a point in which research could be conducted. Many medical researchers would find the journal interesting due to the fact that we can see first hand through dense yet concise research, that our medical services and government programs were not always looking out for the best interests for AIDS victims.
The published scholarly source connects to my artifact directly, as Fienberg himself was an example of how discriminatory attitudes towards AIDS are the harsh reality for many AIDS victims. In his books, Fienberg creates stories which bring the struggle of prejudice attitudes to life. While I did not use this work explicitly for the first PSD this work would be a helpful resource going forward. as the journal and research conducted illustrates statistics aimed at the understanding attitude towards AIDS.
A video by James Wentzy, published via Vimeo, video publisher, offers a clip of Feinberg himself reading an excerpt of “Spontaneous Combustion”. A first-hand look at Feinberg in real life is offered through this video along with one of the actual short narratives found in his book. The video posted by James Wentzy has the internet of showcasing an activist of AIDS with the goal of simply sharing a clip of a book with curious individuals. As the video is rustic, it would be intended for people who want a first-hand account of Feinberg in person, a video of him is helpful in understanding him as a person. Students, librarians, and professors studying his short stories found in “Spontaneous Combustion” would be thrilled by this video.
This video brought Feinberg to life for me and was extremely helpful in putting the finishing touches on my research. It was intriguing to put a voice to the panel of Feinberg. Feinberg was no longer just a number in a gallery, he was a person, an activist, and this video only reaffirmed that individuals honored in the NAMES gallery were once alive and thriving.
DAY, NANCY E., and Patricia Schoenrade. “STAYING IN THE CLOSET VERSUS COMING OUT: RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN COMMUNICATION ABOUT SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND WORK ATTITUDES.” Personnel Psychology, Wiley/Blackwell (10.1111), 7 Dec. 2006, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1744-6570.1997.tb00904.x.
This academic abstract by Nancy Day illustrates the problems gay individuals face in society today. The evidence Day uses is personal insight from gay individuals in the workforce. Day’s purpose is to show that LGBT individuals still face an uphill battle in the workforce and that the battle for ensuring equality is far from over. Individuals researching the implications of affirmative action would be interested in this abstract, as it lends an ear to the battle against discriminatory rhetoric. Sexuality studies majors would be interested in this publication.
While this resource was not explicitly used in my PSD II, it relates to my artifact in the sense that it shows why movements such as National Coming Out Day were needed in the first place and highlights the struggles of gay individuals in society.
Landstrom, Jon. “ROB EICHBERG (1945-1995).” Received by NAMES Gallery, 27 May 1996, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The letter in which the NAMES Gallery Atlanta provided to me was written by Jon Landstrom, who was Rob. Eichberg’s partner. The personal connection of Jon Landstorm to Rob Eichberg is how Landstorm is able to give the reader information and insight, not only of the legacy of Rob Eichberg but to the character and moral of him as well. Landstrom wants the world to know how kind Eichberg was and what a “HERO and “VISIONARY” he was for the LGBT community. The audience of this letter is intended to be the spectators and researchers of the NAMES Gallery. Anyone who is conducting research based on the NAMES Gallery Atlanta would find this letter moving and inspiring.
This source is what inspired me to research Dr. Eichberg. I was able to strip away all of my academic focus and remember the humanity that the NAMES Gallery is a testament to. The letter Eichberg’s partner wrote for him is what brought the legacy of a person back to life. I am extremely grateful to the NAMES Project Atlanta and Jon Landstrom for allowing me to use this moving letter as a way to understand the impact of Rob Eichberg.
A video interview published by Jordan Paul on Youtube shows Paul interviewing Dr. Eichberg first hand. The sources Paul collected are simply Dr. Eichberg himself, which is one of the best sources when discussing the impact he had. The purpose of the interview serves as a question and answer between Paul and Eichberg surrounding Eichberg’s book Coming Out. Individuals browsing YouTube might stumble upon this interview, or any subscriber to Jordan Paul would be the audience for this video. An individual looking at videos of old interviews might find this interesting, as this interview was conducted in the late 1990’s.
This interview was used in my PSD II as it served as a direct resource to Dr. Eichberg. It connects to my artifact by helping me draw connections to the activism illustrated in Eichberg’s block of the quilt.
The New York Times Article, written by the Associated Press pays tribute to the life of Dr. Robert Einchberg. The information published about Dr. Eichberg derived from the people who knew him best, and from Dr. Eichberg’s own publications. The publication serves a purpose of memorializing Dr. Eichberg in a way that reflects the style of an obituary. Readers of the New York Times vary, but the audience for this article would be readers of the New York Times. Students and researchers interested in the founding of National Coming Out Day would enjoy this article, as it gives a brief yet firm understanding of the legacy and importance of Robert Eichberg.
The New York Times article connects directly with the NAMES Gallary block on Dr. Eichberg. The article gives even more insight and perspective on the life of Eichberg.
The publication written by Rober Rhoads serves as a narrative in relation the struggle of finding an identity. The evidence used in his narrative comes from the society he sees around him, and first-hand accounts from queer students. The author wants to use this book as a platform for raising awareness of what it means to come out and how the process of finding one’s identity can be isolating and lonely. The audience for this publication would be students possibly in the field of sexuality studies. I think that anyone who has struggled with their identity would enjoy this publication, as the experience of coming out is one unique to a queer student; gay students can discover that they are not alone.
While this publication was not used as one of the resources in which I showcase in my PSD, it was used more as a self-learning experience. As a gay student in college, I am always eager to hear about the student from the present and the past who have had to struggle with their identity. This publication served as a connection towards Eichberg’s National Coming Out Day but also as a personal reflection.