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Tea2B on Covid19

In our invitation to our past Tea2B on the Corona pandemic we mentioned our expectation to share ideas of „how to make sense of this pandemic we are living through“. From anthropology to pedagogy and environmental science among others, and last but not least of course speaking from our everyday experience of this health crisis we did share experiences that could shed lights on what is taking place at the moment. As the health crisis evolves, we also realized that it is necessary to keep sharing material and reflections of the course of events, which we invite all of you to do in the forum section on COVID 19.

Our expectation to “make sense” of the pandemic however included the prejudgement, that it was something to make sense of. Given the confusion, the anxiety and the absence of evidence based knowledge in this situation, is it however possible to “make sense” of it right now? Given the multiplicity and the intersectionality of the effects that the pandemic and its political and social ramifications have, is it possible to treat the pandemic as a phenomenon to be understood and analysed?

Openings in the midst of uncertainty

Dystopia and utopia, apocalypse or eschatology or all of it at the same time seem to be made possible through this pandemic. Solidarity and egoism, state protection and autocracy, science rule and anti-science, all of these things seem to be taking place at the same time. The status quo is . Even though in the context of our study students and faculty are dedicated to let the courses continue, no one can question the radical change, that the pandemic is bringing to our teaching and learning experience. Our common inexperience with a situation like this and the sudden extreme dependence on technology in some instances even blur the roles of teacher and student. The list of openings could be continued.

Asking questions and writing the present

What can be done, in a situation where certainty is scarce and questions abound? What can be done, when the drastic ramifications and the consequences that the infection protection measures hit some in dramatic ways? What can be done, when it is not yet to be known which lasting political and social consequences come from a situation, where borders are closed? Following Moshe Israelashvilis suggestion, we have decided to embrace the openness of this situation in two ways.

First, we realized the necessity to critically follow and describe the situations that we, our communities and others are living through. As a global community we may be able to build an important historical and global document on the various experiences.

Secondly we want to create a document with questions. Questions that stem from a situation that is marked by radical openness, questions that stem from contradictions, questions that need to be addressed in the future of global programmes and the way we want to continue being a global community.

For the ethnography of the Corona pandemic please use the TimeCapsule and the Coview19 category.

Please add your questions in the comment section titled "Corona Questions".

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Pandemics in Context (an annotated bibliography) by the Environment and Society Portal of the LMU's Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society:


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