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Call for papers for upcoming conference: TAC's impact in its first decade and challenges for the future

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Authors are invited to submit abstracts (maximum 300 words) on any topic related to the conference theme: TAC's impact in its first decade and challenges for the future. The conference will be convened in Cape Town 8-9 December 2008 . The organisers intend publishing a volume of the best papers from the conference during the first half of 2009. Abstracts should be emailed to

Deadline for abstract submissions : 31 July 2008

Conference overview

During the ten years since the Treatment Action Campaign's founding in December 1998, a global movement for access to anti-retroviral treatment has emerged. In South Africa, official denialism and resistance to evidence-based interventions gave way to a slow but steady roll-out of treatment across the country. As one of the developing worlds most recognised HIV/AIDS activist groups, the TAC is frequently credited with using legal advocacy and grassroots mass-mobilization to successfully lobby for public access to anti-retroviral therapy, cheaper generic drugs, and an end to state sponsored denialism. It is also often argued that the TAC can serve as a model for civil society and community-based movements throughout the world in order to encourage better policy formulation and programme implementation. However, the relationship between civil society advocacy and the societal and governmental responses to HIV/AIDS is complex and under-theorised.

The TAC is organising a conference at the end of 2008 to mark ten years since it’s establishment, both to celebrate its achievements and to encourage critical reflection on its past and future. Members, civil society partners and independent scholars are invited to attend and to present papers at the conference.

Possible topics for consideration

  • Political history of South African AIDS activism (relationship with the state, civil society alliances, social mobilisation, the response to state denialism, etc.);
  • Cultural aspects of AIDS activism in South Africa;
  • Oral histories and experiences of activism;
  • Science and AIDS activism (alliances with scientists, science education, knowledge contestation);
  • Organisational aspects (membership, governance, structures, programmes)
  • The history of litigation and legal activism
  • Gender and sexuality in the TAC
  • A future role for TAC?

Further details of the conference, such as final dates and venue, keynote speakers, etc. will be announced by the end of July 2008. Conference attendees will also have the chance to participate in other activities organised as part of TAC's anniversary celebrations.

Abstracts of papers must be submitted by 31 July 2008. Authors will be notified of the acceptance of papers by the end of August. Registration for the conference will open from August to October 2008. Papers selected for inclusion in the edited volume will be announced in January 2009 after which final revisions and editing will take place with a view to publication by mid-2009.

All queries may be addressed to the organisers at