28 Jun

[2022] Making Sense of the Post-Covid World: Continuities and Changes

Yasmeen Arif (Shiv Nadar University, Delhi-NCR)


About the event

Joint Lecture Series
Making Sense of the Post-Covid World: Continuities and Changes

26 April 2022 – 19 July 2022
Tuesdays 1:00 p.m. (Rio de Janeiro), 6:00 p.m. (Berlin and Hamburg)

The pandemic has produced ambivalent consequences for social life. Intersectional inequalities, combining, class, ethno-racial, citizenship, and gender inequalities, both between and within countries, grew during the pandemic and became even more difficult to be mitigated in the post-covid world. At the same time, the global virus has irrefutably revealed the high level of interdependency between different social groups, world regions, as well as between human and nonhuman living beings. However, this did not lead to more solidarity at the national and global level as individualistic and antagonistic responses to the pandemic have created and exacerbated divisions and divides. At the same time, these glaring problems came to the fore and demands to tackle them have grown.

This series of lectures seeks to discuss these ambivalent and long-lasting effects of the pandemic on societies: What has been the impact on social inequality and how does this affect the transformation prospects especially of poor countries? What is the impact of the global virus on world politics? How have the pandemic affected the sense of solidarity at the local, national, and global level? How does the global experience of living with and fighting the pandemic affect the treatment of issues concerning the planet’s common future, such as climate change?

To address these questions, the Institute for Social and Political Studies (IESP/Rio de Janeiro), the Hamburg Institute for Social Research (HIS/ Hamburg) and the Institute of Latin American Studies (LAI /FU Berlin) have invited eight experts from different fields of social sciences to give digital lectures followed by debates with the audience. The lectures will take place between April and July 2022 and will be interposed by internal preparatory sessions at each of the organizing institutes. The series of events is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation within the framework of the Anneliese Meier Research Award conferred to Prof. Domingues, one of the convenors of this lecture series.





28 June 2022:
The Space Between Us: Biophilosophies of Identities in Pandemic Space, Yasmeen Arif (Shiv Nadar University, Delhi-NCR) 

The query that guides this presentation is about how space intervenes in the presence of zoonotic disease and human physical contagion; how space configures questions of security, space and the sustenance of life; and how space formulates the political. Perusing the notion of social identity in a biopolitical environment, and how identity embeds itself in the search for secure space and distance between bodies, the arguments pose another understanding of politics and governmental technique. Using examples of crowds and political protest during the time of the pandemic, the biophilosophies that emerge in the convergence of social identity in material space speak of a compelling aspect of statecraft in the governance of biologically insecure space. In this kind of governance – statecraft, the social and the political show themselves in an emerging politics of life.

Yasmeen Arif is Professor of Sociology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar University, Delhi NCR. Her current writing is about a bio-political critique of identity in politics which follows from her book, Life, Emergent: The Social in the Afterlives of Violence (2016, University of Minnesota Press) which explores a politics of life across multiple global conditions of mass violence. The new book project is tentatively titled Life, Per se : The Government of Identity and explores neo-identities in contemporary democracies, labour-work, and race-caste-faith orientations. A constant parallel genre of research and writing has been a commitment to the geo-politics of knowledge production and equitable epistemologies in the contemporary. Her field experiences have been in Beirut, Lebanon and Delhi, India.

Registrations via zoom.