ASA2020: How to Live Through a Pandemic
ASA2020. Online conference, 27 August 2020
Online conference, 27 August 2020
The Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK’s 2020 conference was a one-day virtual event (27 August). The ASA conference hosted by University of St Andrews will now take place in 2021 - see the ASA2021 pages.
Responses to the Covid pandemic have been global, differentiated, and dramatic. The widespread and enduring calls for ’social distancing’ have profound implications for sociality, shifting the very basis of relations between humans, animals, and other life-forms and things. Anthropologists have written about epidemics from many perspectives, considering illness, health and death, state services, cosmopolitanism and xenophobia, social coercion, state powers, scientific processes and more. What does the concept of a ‘pandemic’ imply? What we have learned about previous declarations of pandemics or epidemics and how the effects are differently experienced? How are particular places and practices considered more sanitary than others, and what do the notions of ‘infection’ and ‘contagion’ carry with them? What does a pandemic do, and how do people live through and beyond them?
In addition, we ask what implications the experience of the current pandemic might have for our research and teaching methods. What aspects of the move online and the implementation of so-called ‘social distancing’ are particularly significant for anthropology, and what does anthropology have to offer in these circumstances?
This online plenary event gathered perspectives and theories from Social Anthropology broadly defined, and contributions will be considered for publication in the ASA edited monograph series.
The papers were organised into four one-hour panels, recordings of which are embedded on the panel pages. We invite discussion to continue there through the ability (if logged in) to comment on each panel page until mid-September.
Any queries, please email conference(at)theasa.org.