Department of Political Studies

Department of Political Studies
Department of Political Studies

Internal invitations issued via email. Please contact if you are interested in participating. 

Occasional reading/discussion group on the "Politics of COVID-19".

At each session, one of the participants can volunteer to choose something for the group to read and discuss at the next session. The range of possible topics is very broad and includes: questions about the role of government, about comparing the reasons for different responses in different states and populations, the gender differences that are emerging and the effect on racialized and poor people, the effects on electoral politics, the politics of healthcare, the changing face of democracy here and elsewhere, the implications for the rise of authoritarian policies and potentially governments, etc.

There's no commitment required. You can come to all the sessions, or only one or two, or none at all. The department will send notice of upcoming topics, dates and times, and include links to the readings being discussed.

The hope in initiating this series is to encourage department members to think of the ways in which COVID relates to our/their work/research and to think about the politics of COVID-19 in terms of the kinds of questions we ask in political studies. For those people who are having some trouble getting back inside their own research and writing, this might provide a way in.

The first of these discussions will focus on four extremely short articles. Each is just a few paragraphs. Together, they offer a picture of some of the ways in which contemporary political theorists are evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on our political discourse. The focus will primarily be on Brown's article, but the other three provide some interesting additional perspectives.

The articles are taken from a collection provided by the LA Review of Books. LARB invited a number of public intellectuals to offer commentary on COVID-19, and published them under the title, "The Quarantine Files: Thinkers in Self-Isolation":

The collection as a whole is interesting. For this session, we'll read those by Wendy Brown, Cynthia Enloe, Simona Forti and George Yancy. 

The discussion is booked for this coming Monday, April 27th, from 3 - 4:30. You'll get an invite to a Zoom meeting. Please join if you are interested.

Eleanor MacDonald