In the Midst of a Global Pandemic: A Conversation about Dependency, Interconnectedness, and Planetarity
Dorothea Green Lecture Series, Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs
The current Covid crisis, among other things, highlights our dependency upon human others: not just medical workers, but the people who grow, pick, and process our foods; truck drivers in the shipping industry; grocery store clerks, postal workers, and even those responsible for maintaining the networked web for all of us zooming together across the globe. It also highlights our interconnectedness and dependency on other plants, animals, and the rest of the natural world. Perhaps this is a moment to begin acting as if humans are part of a planetary community rather than isolated individuals that are above the rest of the natural world. It might be that the gravity and gravitas of this pandemic moves us toward a realization of our planetarity. Is it possible that in this crisis, like in climate disruption, we hear the voices of the earth and non-human earth others therein screaming at humans to reconcile their relationships to the rest of the natural world? May it be that, like a lover who can no longer live in an abusive situation, the earth and non-human earth others are screaming at us to reattune to the needs of the planetary community?
This event happened as an online forum to discuss these and other implications of the current Covid crisis. The panelists, in conversation with about 40 participants from around the world, shared their thoughts about what types of worlds we can build together out of the ashes of the old worlds to which we can no longer return.
- Michael Scaturro, Independent Journalist and Author
- Zainal Bagir, Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies, University of Gadja Mada
- Whitney Bauman, Department of Religious Studies, FIU
- Alissa Jones Nelson, Freelance Writer, Editor, and Translator
- Marcia Pally, Multicultural Studies, NYU and Humboldt University
- Katerina Teaiwa, Associate Professor, Culture, History, and Language, Australia National University
- Kocku von Stuckrad, Religious Studies, University of Groningen
- Anna Winger, Co-creator and Writer for “Deutschland 83” and “Unorthodox”
Co-sponsored by Program in the Study of Spirituality | Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab | Department of Religious Studies | Counterpoint