Loading Events

Keynote Lecture: A Queer History of Blackouts by Dr. Cait McKinney

April 12 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Join graduate students from Carnegie Mellon in listening to Dr. Cait McKinney deliver a keynote address titled “A Queer History of Blackouts” via Zoom. This talk offers a media history of the online blackout as a digital tactic grounded in 1990s AIDS activism. “Blackout” protests evoke power grid failures, temporarily shutting down online systems by removing content, blocking access, or replacing content with black imagery. This lasting tactic began with New York-based Visual AIDS’s Day Without Art online blackout (1995–2000), which drew attention to the AIDS crisis as a systemic failure to care for minoritized people. Dr. McKinney argues that an AIDS-informed perspective on infrastructure collapse and systemic exclusion shaped blackouts. This history helps us understand how and why blackouts trade in feelings of frustration with broken systems. Dr. McKinney situates this historical analysis of the online blackout in a wider queer media theory of blackouts as impasses in which affective life abruptly shifts in generative ways.

Please note: You do not need to be a presenter or graduate student in order to attend any part of this event!

Zoom Link for Panel Presentations

For more conference details, see our main website. See below for an abridged Call for Proposals:

Share This Event

  • This event has passed.


April 12
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm




Carnegie Mellon Department of English
(412) 268-2850
View Organizer Website