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HomeCritical Perspectives on COVID-19: Engaging the Social Scien
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Critical Perspectives on COVID-19:
Engaging the Social Sciences and Humanities

21-22 April 2022

Organising committee: Deborah Lupton, Kiran Pienaar, Kari Lancaster, Tim Rhodes, Clare Southerton, Marianne Clark, Claire Tanner, Adrian Farrugia, Mia Harrison, Dean Murphy, Dion Kagan

Sponsored by Deakin University and UNSW, with support from TASA

Overview and call for abstracts

The Critical Perspectives on COVID-19 conference is a venue for Australian-based researchers to come together in person to share their research. The conference will be held across two days, with hubs in Sydney and Melbourne to facilitate face-to-face encounters and networking opportunities. There will be no live online presentations or participation for this event, but presentations may be recorded to be shared online after the event. It will depend on number of presentations accepted whether the event will extend over one or two days at the Sydney and Melbourne hubs.

Abstracts for paper presentations (15 minutes presentation time), or short papers/provocations (5 minutes presentation time Pecha Kucha style) or creative presentations/artworks are invited. Presentations will be grouped thematically with a shared Q and A at the end of each session.

All presentations should involve a strong focus on the social, cultural, spatial, historical or political dimensions of COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2. We invite submissions across a range of disciplinary perspectives including but not limited to sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, science and technology studies, and the humanities, and from scholars at different career stages. The focus need not be on Australia, but all presenters must be available to attend and present at the event in-person at either the Sydney or Melbourne venues.

We especially invite submissions that engage critically with core themes including:

  1. Knowing (the evidence-making of COVID-19, how it comes to be known through science, research, and other situated and embodied knowledge practices, multiple perspectives and controversies on evidence/knowledge, innovations in methods in pandemic research);
  2. Living (the lived and embodied experience of COVID-19, how it is materialised in bodies, spatialities and affective and multisensory engagements, including the biopolitics of COVID-19, quarantine, self-isolation and stay-at-home orders, processes of exclusion, blame and the (re)production of inequalities);
  3. Publics (the construction of COVID-19 in public forums and spaces, including its problematisation as a ‘crisis’; its framing in public health campaigns and messaging, news reporting, press conferences, websites and social media; protests, forms of activism and counterpublic health responses to COVID-19);
  4. Intervening (treating, responding and intervening in COVID-19 management and control, whether self-care or policy interventions, but also science as intervention, pandemic containment measures e.g. lockdowns, quarantine, restrictions on movement, check-in and contact tracing apps, testing services and policies, vaccination, and risk governance);
  5. Caring (the reach and limits of healthcare in pandemic times, everyday/informal practices of care, care relations, new modes of care that the pandemic has engendered, queer and alternative forms of care, more-than-human care relations, the nexus between care for the environment and pandemics).

The deadline for submission of abstracts for consideration is COB Friday 4 February 2022.

Please use the abstract submission form to provide details of your proposed presentation and return to Deborah Lupton by the deadline. Unfortunately, given tight timeframes, we are not able to consider abstracts submitted after this deadline.

We ask participants to apply to attend one of the face-to-face locations (either Sydney or Melbourne). Please include your preferred location in your proposal. We endeavour to make all face-to-face venues accessible for our participants. Please do not hesitate to get in contact if you have any questions regarding accessibility requirements or have specific venue accessibility requests.

Registration cost (indicative): approximately $50-75 per day (to cover catering and other costs)

Venues: Deakin Downtown (Melbourne CBD, Deakin corporate centre) and UNSW (Sydney)

For questions or enquiries please contact: Deborah Lupton 

All COVID related images on this event page were taken and supplied by TASA member Deborah Lupton.