ICLS contemplates the COVID-19 pandemic

July 30, 2020 – Topics of Interest

Here you will find a collection of writings and interviews from the ICLS faculty and graduate students on the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are a member of our community and would like to contribute to this conversation, please send the link to your article or interview to icls@columbia.edu with the subject line “perspective on the pandemic.” For space considerations, we will only be accepting contributions from ICLS faculty, visiting scholars, students, and alumni. 

With support from the CSS & ICLS Initiative for Remote Learning, Luca Abbattista (Italian/ICLS PhD candidate) recorded a series of conversations in his Fall 2020 Italian class regarding the pandemic. [Videos are in Italian.]

From the journal Critical Inquiry, Lydia H. Liu wrote on “The Incalculable: Thoughts on the Collapse of the Biosecurity Regime” and Bernard Harcourt wrote “On Cooperationism: An End to the Economic Plague”.

From our online journal Synapsis, Rishi K. Goyal wrote an introduction to the COVID-19 special issue. Neni Panourgía wrote the introduction to the January 2021 Justice-in-Education Program special issue: COVID-19 auto-ethnographies of incarceration

Recently, CHCI’s Global Programs Strategist, Jason Rozumalski, interviewed Goyal about the experience of working in Emergency Medicine during the pandemic and how the humanities not only create important ways to make that experience comprehensible but also have the power to transform those experiences into actions toward better care systems and the reimagining of a better tomorrow.

Read the full interview on the CHCI website: https://chcinetwork.org/ideas/humanities-in-the-emergency-room.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak was interviewed by Transform! Europe for the video The Left Reflects on the Global Pandemic

She was also interviewed on the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis by Armenian Member of Parliament Narek Mkrtchyan and mentioned in this Washington Post blog

Etienne Balibar wrote an article in the French journal Mediapart entitled L’Etat, le Public, le Commun: trois notions à l’épreuve de la crise sanitaire.

You can also read his lecture Living, learning, imagining in the middle of the crisis given at the London Critical Theory Summer School 2020 Virtual Programme, Birkbeck University of London – July 3, 2020

Souleymane Bachir Diagne speaks on RFI, with anthropologist Frédéric Keck, about the social inequalities highlighted by the coronavirus crisis.  He was also interviewed by Senegalese paper SenBaat about science, faith, and the virus.  Diagne wrote for Columbia News on how “the words of the Prophet Mohammed can help Muslim societies answer urgent questions during the COVID-19 crisis.”

MLS advising faculty member, Historian, and Professor of Sociomedical Sciences Samuel K. Roberts was interviewed in an an article for NBC News on how, for many African Americans, the move to reopen the country after months of social distancing measures is not a ‘black friendly’ campaign.

Swati Madankumar MLS BC’22 submitted an essay to the Barnard College Spring Bulletin entitled Scratching the Surface: The Origins and Outlook of the Silent Killer.

MLS major Ilaria Simeone, CC’21 and pre-med major Raisa Alam, CC’21, wrote an op-ed with Professor John D. Loike featured on KevinMD entitled How CRISPR technology can solve our COVID-19 testing problems advocating for a novel-CRISPR based COVID-19 test to be used in point-of-care settings, such as the home.

ICLS faculty affiliate, African American and African Diaspora Studies Chair, and Professor of English Farah Jasmine Griffin published a forum response in the Boston Review entitled “Teaching African American Literature During COVID-19.”

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