Douglas Crimp’s most recent book, Melancholia and Moralism: Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics (2002), examines the social and political consequences of AIDS. His experiences as a member of ACT UP, whose pointed activist interventions made visible the need for greater public awareness and action, form the substrate for essays that examine, for example, how museums took on the politicized activist art of AIDS and how homophobia was an implicit subtext of the media coverage of the epidemic.
As an editor of the art journal October from 1977 to 1990, Crimp edited the special issue “AIDS: Cultural Analysis/Cultural Activism,” also published as a book in 1988. The essays collected in this volume were central to the formation of queer theory and important to the work of AIDS activists around the world. Crimp is the Fanny Knapp Allen Professor of Art History at the University of Rochester.