COVID-19 has radically altered just about every imaginable facet of our lives. Within the span of a week, the rhythms of our lives were disrupted. The University of Winnipeg’s Centre for Research in Cultural Studies (CRiCS) offers a series, COVID-19 and Cultural Studies: Articulating the Pandemic, that will unfold through the summer and potentially into the fall term. Each published story in the series also has embedded audio, with the author’s voices. This is a significant layer that literally gives the author a voice to express their ideas, and makes the pieces more accessible.
Created by a call for submissions, this project offers a look at the pandemic from two angles: how this time is being experienced as “unprecedented” and how it is also in deep continuity with what has gone before. The series also has a lens that reflects specifically on what it looks like to do cultural studies in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Treaty One territory.
“The impetus for this series was a desire to bring greater articulacy to our own nascent observations and analyses surrounding COVID-19, but even moreso, to hear from our colleagues in cultural studies,” explain co-editors Drs. Angela Failler and Jane Barter.
Cultural studies aims to offer productive interventions that make a difference in everyday lives and in the institutional worlds of culture, education, politics, and society. Assembled here are pieces of creative writing and poetry, auto-ethnography, essay-commentary, and visual art. The open-endedness of these forms allows the authors to explore issues of the present moment, as they are still unfolding.
Failler and Barter added, “It is our hope that the articulations offered here prompt new insights, interventions, and forms of knowledge production for life post-COVID. When we return to whatever the ‘new normal’ might look like in the university, we hope to not simply return to ‘business as usual,’ but to emerge from the pandemic with greater clarity, resourcefulness, and solidarity.”
This series is supported by funding from the Canada Research Chairs Program with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and The University of Winnipeg.
Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg