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.
14 June 2022:
Labor and Inequalities During and After the Pandemic, Sara Stevano (SOAS University of London)
The COVID-19 crisis is fundamentally different from previous ones because it shakes a foundational element of our economies and societies: the organization of work, in its multiple forms. To fully analyse this process, a global feminist social reproduction lens is necessary. A feminist reading of this crisis captures the interplay between reproductive and productive work, where multiple inequalities are reproduced. This talk focuses on three key mechanisms. First, the pandemic and the measures to contain it have further deepened the centrality of households and reproductive work in the functioning of capitalism. Second, the re-organisation of work into essential and non-essential workers have increased the risk of certain social groups to either unemployment or disease exposure, with no evidence of material gains so far. Third, the existing global division of labour, including its transnational dimensions, has significantly limited the ability to protect the livelihood of the most vulnerable workers, reinforcing South-North divides. Through such processes, intersecting inequalities of class, race, gender and migration status have been reproduced and magnified, both locally and globally.
Sara Stevano is a development and feminist political economist. She is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at SOAS University of London, after holding teaching and research positions at the University of the West of England, Bristol, and King’s College London. Her areas of study are the political economy of labour, food and social reproduction. Her work focuses on Africa, with primary research experience in Mozambique and Ghana.