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Pandemic, Crisis, and Modern Studies

Friday 12 June 2020, 9.00AM to 7pm

A Twitter conference organised by Countervoices, the Centre for Modern Studies postgraduate forum at the University of York

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Fay Bound Alberti (York) & Dr. Beryl Pong (Sheffield)

Over the past few months, the spread of Covid-19 has profoundly impacted the lives of people around the globe. Whether politically, through the ever-shifting government policies, culturally, by virtual access to cultural artefacts, or socially, through individual isolation, the rapid spread of the pandemic has changed how one lives in the world. Undoubtedly severe as the consequences of the virus are, it boosts new insights into human relation(ship)s, communities, and environment, with imaginative responses such as singing on balconies, and considerable drops in air pollution. For individuals, communication has become confined to the virtual space, forcing us to find original forms of expression. 

This conference attempts to initiate a robust and meaningful discussion on how the pandemic or crisis shapes our past, present, and future. We invite discussions about the pandemic as a global crisis from passionate and creative intellectuals in different disciplines of modern studies (from 1830 to present). Featuring an opportune interdisciplinary response to the contemporary changes and new experiences brought about by the crisis, this conference will spark new debates over ontological issues, shed new light upon research in humanities and sciences, and engage and inspire a broad range of audiences in and beyond this country.   

Pandemic, Crisis and Modern Studies conference programme (PDF , 1,042kb)

Follow the conference here


Dr Fay Bound Alberti will give a paper on "Loneliness in the time of Covid19"  
Dr Fay Bound Alberti works on the histories of medicine, gender, emotion and the body. Her books include Medicine, Emotion and Disease, 1700-1950 (ed., 2006); Matters of the Heart: History, Medicine and Emotion (2010) This Mortal Coil: The Human Body in History and Culture (2016) and Germs and Governance: The Past, Present and Future of Hospital Infection Prevention and Control (ed. with Anne Marie Rafferty and Marguerite Dupree, 2019) Fay's book on the history of loneliness - A Biography of Loneliness: The History of an Emotion - was published by Oxford University Press in 2019. Fay was awarded one of the first round of UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships for her work on the emotional and cultural history of face transplants. Fay is a Foundation Futures Leaders Fellow at the Foundation of Science and Technology, and a Reader in History at the University of York, where she is also co-Director of the Centre for Global Health Histories.
Dr Beryl Pong will give a paper on "Pandemic Temporalities: Crisis, Curve, Crip"
Dr Beryl Pong is a Vice-Chancellor's Fellow in English at the University of Sheffield. She is the author of British Literature and Culture in Second World Wartime: For the Duration (Oxford University Press, 2020), as well as numerous articles on war and time in Modernism/modernityJournal of Modern Literature, and Literature & History, among other venues. She is a commissioning editor for the "Modernist Geographies" section of Literature Compass, an executive committee member of the British Association of Modernist Studies, and the Sheffield lead supervisor on the White Rose College of Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH) network, "Electronic Soundscapes". She is the current holder of a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award for the project, "The Aesthetics of Drone Warfare" (2019-2021).

Location: Twitter