Keywords on Transcriptions

This article is part of the following series:

Concepts are the tools of our trade, enabling us to analytically capture a situation, bring new insights to it, and rethink the frame within which a problem has been articulated. For this reason, concepts may be considered to have a performative function, shaping not only what comes to be known but also the nature of intervention this knowledge generates. In this Transcriptions series, we solicit short essays of one or two paragraphs that reflect on the trajectories of those keywords that have acquired a certain self-evidence over the course of the epidemic. Rather than providing summaries, we encourage writers to make us pause and reflect, to hold up to the light our ways of speaking and thinking, illuminating those contours and implications we may have forgotten or may never have seen. Places from which to start include: agency; responsibility; witchcraft; behavior; stigma and gender. We also welcome consideration of what are perhaps more unwieldy ideas, such as love, blame, death, and jealousy.

Contact us at to suggest a keyword or to submit a piece on one of the above keywords.
Keywords Co-editors: Betsey Brada and Marsha Rosengarten