Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2019

Capstone Advisor

Azra Hromadžić

Honors Reader

John Burdick

Capstone Major


Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Anthropology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social and Cultural Anthropology


This thesis is an ethnographic study of queer activism in New York City. It compares the social dynamics, as well as the possibilities and limitations, of Voices4 and ACT UP/NY, two direct action groups that are involved in different but related struggles. Using the frames of affect, digital media, and temporality, I explore the personal and practical dimensions of activism, as well as the forms of politics that emerge through collective action. While Voices4 and ACT UP engage in similar tactics and strategies, this thesis demonstrates that they take on different overall approaches due to a range of factors, including their respective visions and goals. Voices4 relies heavily on consciousness-raising activities, while ACT UP focuses on structural transformation. Ultimately, this thesis argues that both approaches are necessary for realizing the change these groups desire.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Thursday, July 16, 2020