Seminar and book launch of AIDS, politics and music in South Africa by Dr Fraser McNeill

Posted on May 09, 2012

The University of Pretoria's Faculty of Humanities and Cambridge University Press cordially invite you to attend the launch of AIDS, politics, and music in South Africa.

Date:     Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Time:     15:00–17:00 (seminar and book launch)
Venue: Merensky Library Auditorium, Main Level, UP Hatfield Campus
RSVP:  Corena Garnas on 012 420 4895 or
[email protected] by Wednesday, 9 May 2012

About the book:
AIDS, politics and music in South Africa offers an original anthropological approach to the AIDS epidemic in South Africa, demonstrating why AIDS interventions in the former homeland of Venda have failed – and may possibly even have been counterproductive.

The author does so through a series of ethnographic encounters, involving everything from kings to condoms, which expose the ways in which biomedical understanding of the virus has been rejected by – and incorporated into – local understanding of health, illness, sex and death.

The book argues that music, in the form of songs about female initiation and AIDS education, spread by wandering minstrels, is central to understanding how AIDS interventions operate. This book elucidates a hidden world of meaning in which people sing about what they cannot talk about, where educators are blamed for spreading the virus, and in which condoms are often thought to cause AIDS. The policy implications are clear: African worldviews must be taken seriously if AIDS interventions in Africa are to become successful.

Price: This special paperback edition will be available for sale at R250.

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