Research Info

So you want to write about ACT UP! We encourage further debate and scholarship on the AIDS crisis and direct action activism. But as much as we love helping educate people about our past and issues, answering individual replies takes time from planning direct action. So...

Before you write to us for specific information, we recommend examining some of these published sources listed below directly about ACT UP or pertinent political analyses. Also, go to the Documents section to see important ACT UP texts. (Particularly recommended is a cautionary note to researchers by Maxine Wolfe: Academia and...)

(released November 26, 2003)

Needless to say, if you are writing about ACT UP and live in a city with an active chapter, then come to one of our meetings!!!

If you live near the San Francisco Bay area or midtown Manhattan, keep in mind that there are also signficant archival sources which are generally open to anyone.

In New York, the ACT UP/NY archives are located in the New York Public Library main branch at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue in the Archives Division. This collection has many of the notes and documents from the years 1987-1995 along with many DIVA
-TV and AIDS activist videotapes. To access these archives, please e-mail for information. Other sources of comprehensive information about ACT UP can be found at the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn. To visit the Archives by appointment or to find out hours, call: (718) 768-DYKE (3953) Fax: (718) 768-4663. [For specific information on the ACT UP collection at the Herstory Archives, you can contact Maxine Wolfe via her Voice Mail at 212-946-2180.] ..Additionally, the National Museum of Lesbian and Gay History at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center (208 w. 13th St, NYC) also has materials.

In San Francisco, there is the Gay & Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California, (415) 777-5455 and the Lesbian and Gay Section of the new Public Library.

The most detailed source of information is the lesbian and gay community press (although even this is not always perfect!). Look for old issues of Out, Outweek, QW (previously NYQ). There have also been articles in The Nation and to a lesser degree, The Village Voice. You might not always find these magazines in your local library and may have to go to either a larger one or to the local lesbian and gay community center library or resource center.

Finally, if there is something that is left off this list and should be on it, please let us know.

Good luck, and
__let the record show...


Select Bibliography

ACT UP/New York Women and AIDS Book Group. WOMEN, AIDS, AND ACTIVISM.
Boston: South End Press, 1990.

ACT UP/Paris, Le SIDA, COMBIEN de DIVISIONS. Paris: Editions Dagorno,1994.

NEW | JUST RELEASED   AIDS RIOT  Collectifs D'Artistes Face au SIDA | Artist Collectives Against AIDS     New York 1987-1994  Project by Ecole du MAGASIN 2003

Altar Ego Productions, STOP THE CHURCH (videotape)1990.

Andriote, John-Manuel. "VICTORY DEFERRED: How AIDS changed gay life in America." The University of Chicago Press, 1999

Ariss, Robert. "Performing anger: emotion in strategic responses to AIDS. The Australian Journal of Anthropology; Wntr 1994, v4, n1, p18(13).

Bordowitz, Gregg. "Picture a Coalition." In AIDS: CULTURAL ANALYSIS, CULTURAL ACTIVISM, editor Douglas Crimp. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1988.

Burkett, Elinor. THE GRAVEST SHOW ON EARTH: AMERICA IN THE AGE OF AIDS. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1995. Chapter 12. (be forewarned the chronology is so tangled as to be nearly useless in understanidng the context of the remarks.)

Bull, Chris. "Atlanta protesters target AIDS rise among U.S. women." The Advocate; Jan 1 1991, n567, p15(1).

Bull, Chris. "Media watchers say day of desperation caught nation's eye. (ACT UP protesters in New York, New York disrupt news broadcasts at CBS and PBS television stations).The Advocate; Feb 26 1991, n571, p14(4).

Bull, Chris. "New York police clash with ACT Up on two occasions. (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power).The Advocate; March 26 1991, n573, p23(1).

Bull, Chris. "Spy allegations pit Pennsylvania police against activists." (investigation of state police infiltration of ACT UP meeting in Philadelphia).The Advocate; Feb 26 1991, n571, p22(1).

Carter, George M. "ACT UP, the AIDS War, and Activism." Open Magazine Pamphelet Series #15. Westfield, NJ: Open Media, 1992. (**longtime ACT UPper)

Chew, Sally. "What's Going Down with ACT UP." OUT November 1993: 72+.

Cohen, Peter F. "'All They Needed': AIDS, Consumption, and the Politics of Class." Journal of the History of Sexuality 8 (July 1997), pp. 86-115.

Cohen, Peter F. "Love and Anger: Essays on AIDS, Activism, and Politics." New York: Haworth Press, 1998. --

Cohen, Cathy Jean. "Power, Resistance, and the Construction of Crisis: Marginalized Communities Respond to AIDS." Dissertation, University of Michigan, 1993.

Concar, David. "Slanging match with Sullivan. (Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan's relations with AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power)" Nature; July 12 1990, v346, n6280, p95(1).

York: HarperCollins, 1992.

Crimp, Douglas with Adam Rolston. AIDS DEMOGRAPHICS Seattle: Bay Press, 1990.

Crimp, Douglas. "The boys in my bedroom." Art in America; Feb 1990, v78, n2, p47(2).

Crimp, Douglas. " Mourning and Militancy." OCTOBER Winter 1989 (51).

Cunningham, Michael. "If you're queer and you're not angry in 1992, you're not paying attention; if you're straight it may be hard to figure out what all the shouting's about." Mother Jones; May-June 1992, v17, n3, p60(8).

Dunlap, David W."F.B.I. kept file on Act Up in protest years; dossier appears to be mainly news clippings." (Federal Bureau of Investigation; AIDS advocacy group) (New York Pages).The New York Times; May 16 1995, v144, pA15(N) pB3(L), col 3.

Epstein, Steven. IMPURE SCIENCE: AIDS, ACTIVISM, AND THE POLITICS OF KNOWLEDGE (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996).


NEW From ACT UP To The WTO: Urban Protest and Community Building in the Era of Globalization. By Benjamin Shepard and Ronald Hayduk, Editors. Verso Books. 2001

Gamson, Joshua. "Silence, Death, and the Invisible Enemy: AIDS Activism and Social Movement 'Newness.'" SOCIAL PROBLEMS 36.4 (October 1989): 351-367. Reprinted in Michael Burawoy et. al., ETHNOGRAPHY UNBOUND. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991. 35-57.

Geltmaker, Tom. "The Queer Nation Acts Up: Health care, politics, and sexual diversity in the county of Angels." Society and Space. Vol 10 (1992).

NEW Global AIDS: Myths and Facts; Tools for Fighting the AIDS Pandemic. Includes an Intro by Paul Farmer and a Preface by Zackie Achmat, and was written by Alexander Irwin, Joyce Millen and Dorothy Fallows. June 2003 South End Press.

Handleman, David. "ACT UP in anger." Rolling Stone; March 8 1990, n573, p80(9).

Kaplan, Esther. "ACT UP under Siege. THE VILLAGE VOICE. 16 July, 1991.

Kramer, Larry. REPORTS FROM The HOLOCAUST: the story of an AIDS activist. New York : St. Martin's Press, 1994.

Mahoney, Robert. "Set the Woods on Fire." Arts Magazine; March 1990, v64, n7, p115(2).

McKean, Aldyn, "1991 = 1967?" (internal conflicts in Students for Democratic Society in 1967 and in ACT UP in 1991). Gay Community News; Jan 5 1992, v19, n24, p4(3). (** longtime ACT UP-er, died 1994).

Monthly Press 1990.

Patton, Cindy. INVENTING AIDS. New York: Routledge, 1990. Chapter 6.

Philadelphia police attack. (police violence on AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power members during demonstration) (National Pages). The New York Times; March 20 1992, v141, pA8(N) pA12(L), col 6.

Queers in Space; (essay) "This Is about People Dying: The Tactics of Early ACT UP and Lesbian Avengers in New York City," interviews with Maxine Wolfe by Laraine Sommella; Edited by Gordon Brent ingram, Anne-Marie bouthillette, and Yolanda Retter, Bay Press, Seattle Washington, 1997 ___ see excerpt_

Rafsky, Robert. "A better life for having acted up."The New York Times; April 19 1992, v141, Sec. 4, pE11(N) pE11(L), col 2. (*** longtime ACT UPper, died 1993).

Saalfield, Catherine and Ray Navarro. "Shocking Pink Praxis: Race and Gender on the ACT UP Frontlines." INSIDE/OUT, Diana Fuss, ed. New York & London: Routledge. 1991. 341-369.

Schulman, Sarah. MY AMERICAN HISTORY: Lesbian and Gay life in the Reagan and Bush years.

Talk of the Town. "Battle fatigue." The New Yorker; Nov 9 1992, v68, n38, p39(2).

Talk of the Town. (Needle Exchange Program). The New Yorker; Sept 16 1991, v67, n30, p23(2).

Taylor, Paul. "AIDS guerrillas." New York; Nov 12 1990, v23, n44, p64(9).

Testing the Limits Collective. VOICES FROM THE FRONT (videotape). 1991. FRAMELINE (film/video distributor, San Francisco)


New York: St. Martin's, 1991.

Wolfe, Maxine. "The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP): A Direct Action Model of Community Research for AIDS Prevention. : Van Vugt, Johannes P. (ed) : AIDS Prevention and Services Community Based Research : Conn.Westport, Connecticut and London: London: Bergen Garvey"