This essay considers how the AIDS quilt can function within the public historical record as a disability artifact; it connects contestations over the quilt to contestations over the meaning of disability in American cultures. Although the AIDS quilt is a very different artifact from others constructed during the Disability Rights Movement, the movement that generated the AIDS quilt has likewise been propelled by a commitment to more democratic futures. This essay considers how interpretations of the past can contribute to such futures and asks what can be gained by broadening our still-fluctuating sense of what disability history might be.
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