HIV, Globalization and Topology: Of Prepositions and Propositions

Michael, Mike and Rosengarten, Marsha. 2012. HIV, Globalization and Topology: Of Prepositions and Propositions. Theory, Culture & Society, 29(4-5), pp. 93-115. ISSN 0263-2764 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In this paper we explore how two enactments of HIV – the UN’s AIDS Clock and clinical trials for an HIV biomedical prevention technology or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) - entail particular globalizing and localizing dynamics. Drawing on Latour’s and Whitehead’s concept of proposition, and Serres’ call for a philosophy of prepositions, we use the composite notion of pre/propostitons to trace the shifting topological status of HIV. For example, we show how PrEP emerges through topological entwinements of globalizing biomedical standardization, localizing protests against PrEP trials and globalizing ethical principles. We go on to examine how our own analysis manifests a parallel topological pattern in which we deploy a globalizing argument about the localizing of the globalizing found in the AIDS clock and the PrEP trails. Finally, we consider how the movement of ‘topology’ into the social sciences might itself benefit from a topological treatment.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


HIV, Globalization, Topology, Proposition, Preposition

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP) [2003-2015]


July 2012Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

28 May 2012 14:50

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:50

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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