School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies


Queen's Contagion Cultures Lecture Series banner

The series is a Faculty of Arts and Science collaboration between the School of Policy Studies and Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Gender Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Cultural Studies. 

Queen's Contagion Cultures Lectures help make sense of this pandemic through the expertise and insights of Arts and Science faculty members. This public-facing series asks important questions and explores complex responses. It deploys the powerful tools of Arts and Science humanistic analysis to help society grapple with our turbulent times. 

The series will be live-streamed once a month.  Timings may vary

  • Videos of past lectures can be found on our YouTube channel.


JAN 25, 2022
4:00 PM ET
"Imagining the Post-COVID Polity: Narratives of possible futures"

  • Speaker: Paul Nesbitt Larking, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Huron University College, Adjunct Professor at Queen’s University, and former president of the International Society of Political Psychology. 

The COVID crisis is arguably the most important development of the 21st century so far and takes its place alongside the great eruptions of the past century. As with any crisis, the current pandemic has generated sudden breaks and changes as well as stimulated visions and proposals for post-Covid societies. Our focus is on predictive and prescriptive narratives that envisage post-Covid societies. We theorize that the reality effects of a global pandemic, coupled with associated economic and cultural shocks, have seriously destabilized both populist and liberal metanarratives and that a series of counter-narratives are currently emerging. We anticipate that societal changes conditioned by the pandemic have accelerated a turn toward five inter-related developments: A renaissance in rationality and evidence-based science; a reimagining of the interventionist state in response to crises in economy, society, and social order; a return to social equality, more robust welfare states, wage equity, and guaranteed incomes; a reorientation to the local and communitarian, with reference in particular to solidaristic mutual aid, community animation, local sourcing and craft production; and the reinvention of democracy through deep participation and deliberative dialogical decision making. In order to trace and track elements of such future-oriented narratives of possibility, we analyse mostly Canadian media content related to life after the pandemic and post-COVID society.

Paul Nesbitt-Larking is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Huron University College in Canada and former president of the International Society of Political Psychology. Publications include Contemporary Orangeism in Canada (2018), The Palgrave Handbook of Global Political Psychology (2014), and The Political Psychology of Globalization: Muslims in the West (2011).

Free Public Online Lecture  - Registration is required.