Lectures

“It can be seen” – COVID-19’s Disasters for Workers

This article is part of the series:

Ethiopia, where I am currently doing dissertation fieldwork, reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 13, 2020. But for runners who work in transnational sport, COVID-19 had entered the country two months earlier. 

In January, long before the Olympics, the Boston Marathon, the NBA season, and many other major sporting events were cancelled or postponed, a number of sub-elite …

Lectures

The toilet paper panic: coronavirus and reflections from confinement

This article is part of the series:

The video shows two women coming to blows over a packet of loo rolls; the manager intervenes, trying to calm them down. One of the women has a supermarket trolley full of toilet paper. The other yells in despair: “I only want one, just give me one!”, and the reply comes back, in the same tone: “no, not even one, …

Lectures

Don’t Fight the Future

This article is part of the series:

For the last few years, I’ve been teaching a class called “Human Futures.” I designed it because I was struck by the increasing pessimism among the undergraduates I taught, many of whom expressed deep anxieties about the future. I wanted to provide them with a curriculum that was both realist in its assessment of the threats we collectively …

Lectures

Epidemic Philosophy

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Can a virus ever prompt good philosophy? Within weeks of its emergence, SARS-CoV-2 was galvanizing celebrity European philosophers and social theorists, most of them men in a vulnerable age demographic, to reflect publicly and plentifully on the meaning of the pandemic. These days, it seems, an epidemic demands urgent philosophical inquiry, and lots of it—personal protective equipment for the mind, …

Lectures

Our COVID Museum: Notes from Physician-Anthropologists on the Frontlines of an Evolving Pandemic in Seattle and New York City

This article is part of the series:

As the pandemic of SARS-CoV2 (the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19) unfolds it continues to impact contemporary forms of sociality and community, health, care, governance, and global interconnectedness. These changes and the myriad challenges they pose are critical fodder for anthropologists of health and medicine, and we are called upon now to document lived experiences, reflexively use social theory and …