Pandemic, Crisis, and Modern Studies: The Intersection of Your Research with the Pandemic/Crisis – A Twitter Conference

Countervoices, Centre for Modern Studies, University of York

12 June 2020 | Twitter

Over the past few months, the spread of Covid-19 has profoundly impacted the lives of people around the globe. Whether politically, through the ever-shifting government policies, culturally, by virtual access to cultural artefacts, or socially, through individual isolation, the rapid spread of the pandemic has changed how one lives in the world. Undoubtedly severe as the consequences of the virus are, it boosts new insights into human relation(ship)s, communities, and environment, with imaginative responses such as singing on balconies, and considerable drops in air pollution. For individuals, communication has become confined to the virtual space, forcing us to find original forms of expression.

This conference attempts to initiate a robust and meaningful discussion on how the pandemic or crisis shapes our past, present, and future. We invite discussions about the pandemic as a global crisis from passionate and creative intellectuals in different disciplines of modern studies (from 1830 to present). Featuring an opportune interdisciplinary response to the contemporary changes and new experiences brought about by the crisis, this conference will spark new debates over ontological issues, shed new light upon research in humanities and sciences, and engage and inspire a broad range of audiences in and beyond this country.

The conference welcomes submissions of abstracts for twitter-papers consisting of 10-15 tweets (with pictures/slides) about the way your studies intersect with the pandemic or crisis. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical and mental health: vulnerability, fragility, illness, health, care, death, and resilience, therapy, and recovery.
  • Cognition and memory: trauma, recollection, history, erasure, monument, and memorials.
  • Space: architecture, geography, regions, nations, transnation, and globe.
  • Identities, groups and agents: identities in relation to crisis (victim, survivor, volunteer, helper, expert, hero, scapegoat, whistleblower, etc.), groups and authorities in operation, effects on particular groups in the population (gender, race, class and human rights), creation of new groups and new identities.
  • Changes and reactions: changes to habits (shopping, behaviour, social norms), cognition, human relationships, cities, businesses, economies, and policies that initiate (or do not initiate) such changes.
  • Communication and language: rumours, fake news, instructions, slogans, hashtags, and new words.
  • Apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, utopian/dystopian visions.
  • Material objects and metaphors: necessities (food, toilet roll), tools of self-preservation (masks, hand-sanitizer, vaccines, ventilators, and weapons).
  • Animals and the environment: non-human, ecology, environment, and post-human.
  • Representation in literature, music, art, cinema, documents, archive, or records.

Please send your abstract (200 words), a short bio (50 words), and your twitter account (@XXXX) to [email protected] by 15 May 2020. Participants will be invited to present their papers (thread of tweets) on 12 June using the hashtag #Cmodspan2020 and tagging the Countervoices (@cmodspgforum1) and CModS (@cmods1) twitter accounts according to the conference programme and handbook, which will be updated at the end of May. We will host the conference and retweet your tweet-papers in a single thread, under the title of the conference. For those who don’t have a twitter account, we can help you tweet your discussion. The best papers presented in this conference will receive Amazon vouchers worth up to £50. We are grateful to the Centre for Modern Studies for making it possible for us to offer these awards.

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Fay Bound Alberti (York) & Dr. Beryl Pong (Sheffield)

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