Call for Abstracts: Narratives of COVID-19 in China and the World: Technology, Society, and Nations

In a world troubled by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative for researchers to rework our theoretical assumptions and frameworks as we embark on new empirical and theoretical inquiries. The Center on Digital Culture and Society at the University of Pennsylvania seeks to bring together a group of scholars for an interdisciplinary workshop to examine these important issues and explore new research agendas. We particularly welcome empirical research which takes historical, critical, cultural, and political-economic approaches to the study of the following topics:

-New and radical practices and visions of technologies in the COVID-19 pandemic
-Changing narratives of borders, communities, and mobility
-The resurgence of racism and right-wing nationalism
-Gender and the crisis of social reproduction
-Evolving patterns of media/tech activism and surveillance, and their implications for future social   movements
-Narratives of identity, solidarity, emotions, personhood, social justice, and nationalism
-Artificial intelligence, automation, and other technologies in economic, political and social processes
-Comparative studies of risks, vulnerabilities, and pandemic narratives across time and space

Please submit extended paper abstracts of 500-800 words in English to before September 1, 2020 with “COVID Workshop” in the subject line. The authors of accepted proposals will be invited to present the full paper at a workshop on March 26, 2021 hosted by the Center on Digital Culture and Society. Depending on the pandemic situation, the workshop may be virtual or in-person. If in-person, the workshop will be held at the University of Pennsylvania and organizers will cover the invited authors’ travel and accommodation. If the workshop is held virtually, organizers will pay an honorarium to invited speakers. Presented papers will be published in a special journal issue and/or as an edited book. The workshop will be co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Contemporary China at the University of Pennsylvania.