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Asian Perspectives of Pandemic Past and Present
April 29, 2021 - 18:00-20:00
An evening webinar with area specialists contextualising Asian regional responses to the covid-19 pandemic. The discussion will be addressing issues such as disinformation, scientism, nationalism, exceptionalism, xenophobia and more.
Popular representations of Asia during the pandemic have been ambiguous and contradictory. On the one hand, the framing of covid-19 as something inherently Chinese has resulted in a surge in anti-Asian violence worldwide; on the other, some Asian states have been seen as positive role models for their successful suppression and elimination strategies. Overall, however, international depictions of Asian experiences with the pandemic have been superficial and lacking. Taking into account a selected number of Asian contexts to shed light on living through the pandemic, this event aims to reorient, broaden, and contextualise understanding of our year with covid-19. The speakers will reflect on the reactions to the pandemic within the region, and how these have been perceived in a global context. The discussion will also draw parallels between present and past moments of rampant disinformation, contradictory scientisms, nationalistic competition, duelling exceptionalisms, stigma experienced by medical professionals, and entrenching xenophobia—examining how populations have sought to understand and conceptualise life with a new and unknown disease.
- Nicholas Loubere, Associate Professor at Lund University. He is an area specialist focusing on contemporary China and its global manifestations.
- Martha Lincoln, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at San Francisco State University. Her research interests include the public health effects of market reform in Vietnam and the cultural politics of health.
- Claudia Merli, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, specialised primarily in Medical Anthropology, and in the critical anthropological study of disasters.
- Michael G. Vann, Professor of History at California State University, Sacramento. He specialises in the history of the French colonial empire.
- Kailing Xie, Teaching Fellow at the University of Warwick. Her work explores the role of gender in contemporary Chinese governance. She has won the Warwick University’s City of Culture award (2019-2020) for the project “Making Alien-land Home-land: A Visual Documentation of Chinese Communities in Coventry”.