Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2019

Faculty Advisor(s)

Wendy Salmond


The American aids crisis is one of the most important epidemics of the contemporary world, yet many americans do not know the severity of the crisis or the true lasting effects on recent society. In my project I will go over personal accounts of individuals directly affected by the illness, like famed artist Keith Haring, to give it a more human perspective. I will also reflect on the art that was created at the time, and how that was reflective on the people affected. Aids is an immunodeficiency virus that has been proven difficult to diagnose in the early on years. It had a lacking in public interest because it was regarded as a “gay disease”, which resulted in the death of about 700,000 individuals in the U.S. at the time. The disease took the lives of many famed individuals such as Freddie Mercury, Eazy-E, and Keith Haring. I will focus on the accounts of Keith Haring because he documented his life and fear of the illness in many diaries and in many of his works. He produced many works that highlighted his views on how conservative America viewed the aids crisis, as well as creating the Keith Haring Foundation.


Presented at the Spring 2019 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.