Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


VIRTUAL: IAS Covid-19 Workshops — Session 2: Pedagogies of the Virus: Inequalities and Intersections

16 March 2021, 3:00 pm–5:00 pm

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This is the second of three sessions to explore interdisciplinary responses to the current coronavirus pandemic. Speakers: Boaventura de Sousa Santos (Coimbra/Wisonsin-Madison), Ann Phoenix (IoE, UCL), Angela Saini (Science Journalist), Rochelle Burgess (UCL), Sarabajaya Kumar (UCL) and Alex De Waal (TUFTS/LSE). Chaired by Nicola Miller (IAS, UCL) and Megan Vaughan (IAS, UCL)

This event is free.

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Provisional Programme 

  • Section 1: Holistic Approaches

3pm. Introductions by Nicola Miller, UCL (5 min)
3.05pm. Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Coimbra/Wisonsin-Madison (30min)
3.35pm. Response by Alex De Waal, TUFTS/LSE (10 min)
3.45pm. Response by Ann Phoenix, UCL (10 min)

Some references presented during the session: 

4pm. Introductions by Megan Vaughan, UCL (5min)
4.05pm. Response by Angela Saini, Science Journalist (15min)
4.20pm. Response by Rochelle Burgess, UCL (15min)
4.35pm. Response by Sarabajaya Kumar, UCL (15min)

We are particularly emphasising the concept of 'Quarantine' for this workshop as it is developed in The Cruel Pedagogy of the Virus both as the isolation periods in a crisis and other forms of isolation or abjection (ageism, racism, sexism, ableism, classism…) heightened in this pandemic:

'A quarantine is always discriminatory, more difficult for some social groups than others, and impossible for a vast number of carers, whose mission is to make it feasible for the population at large. [...] These are groups with a special sort of vulnerability in common, that predates the quarantine and worsens as it progresses. They make up a category that I call “the South”. For me, the South does not refer to a geographical space, but rather a political, social and cultural spacetime. It is a metaphor for the unjust human suffering caused by capitalist exploitation and racial and sexual discrimination. I intend to analyse quarantine from the perspective of the men and women who have suffered most from these forms of oppression, and to visualise, again from their perspective, the social changes that will be required once it is over.'

You can read an ad hoc translation of a section of La Cruel Pedagogía del Virus (The Cruel Pedagogy of the Virus) pp.15-21 here. And the Spanish version of the book here.

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