COVID-19 Forum III – Introduction

This article is part of the following series:

Thirty-eight days have passed since the publication of Somatosphere’s COVID-19 Forum II. In the course of these days the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the globe has risen from 1.1 to 4,3 million, with coronavirus-related deaths rising from 60,000 to 294,997. While some countries, like Italy and Germany, have started relaxing their lockdowns, epidemic control measures in others, like the US and UK, which are reporting the largest numbers of deaths by the disease, have been faced with severe criticism by the scientific community. At the same time, as research continues on the pathology and transmission pathways of the disease, as well as on the development of a vaccine, fears of a “second wave” have been fanned by the renewed rise of cases in South Korea and China.  

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into its fifth month, the third instalment of Somatopshere’s COVID-19 Forum brings together 12 papers by anthropologists, historians, literary scholars, data scientists and sociologists reflecting on different aspects of the pandemic from regional and global perspectives. Together, and in dialogue with the papers published in Forums I and II, it is hoped that these contributions will foster interdisciplinary dialogue, challenge the boundaries of medical humanities and the anthropology of medicine, and contribute to approaches to the particular pandemic but also, more broadly, to epidemics as such that will allow us to rethink and engage with them as critical processes and events.

The COVID-19 Forum III was edited by:
Christos Lynteris
University of St Andrews


Colonial Wound, (Re)Infected: Pandemic in the Andes
Rebecca Irons
University College London

Aid, Diplomacy, Autocracy: Entering the COVID-19 Crisis in Cambodia
Laurent Pordié
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

COVID-19, Nature and the Political Ontology of China’s Party-State
Christos Lynteris
University of St Andrews

What Comes After COVID-19
Eliza Williamson
Washington University in St. Louis

Hunger-20: COVID-19 Logistics in West Africa
Branwyn Poleykett
University of Exeter

COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness and Response in West Africa: An Anthropological Lens
Oumy Thiongane
Dalhousie University

Health Messaging and Napkin Epidemiology in the Netherlands
Maurits Bastiaan Meerwijk
University of Hong Kong

Before and After (in and from Italy)
Giovanni Pizza
University of Perugia

Acting Fatally on the Strength of the Martial Metaphor
Lorenzo Servitje
Lehigh University

Telling the Story of the Pandemic
Nayanika Mathur
University of Oxford

Silent Spring in Europe calls for a New Social Ecology
Tanja Bogusz and Frédéric Keck
Kassel University; Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique / French National Centre for Scientific Research

How We Tweet About Coronavirus, and Why: A Computational Anthropological Mapping of Political Attention on Danish Twitter during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Samantha Breslin, Thyge Ryom Enggaard, Anders Blok, Tobias Gårdhus and Morten Axel Pedersen
University of Copenhagen

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