Covid-19 and Culture - podcast mini-series
Professor Susan Watkins from the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities presents a series of podcasts called COVID-19 and Culture that discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our culture and the long term impacts we may see.
This four-episode mini-series tackles a range of areas where COVID-19 has impacted our lives and where it will continue to affect us in the future. In the first podcast named Historical parallels, the panel discuss what history can teach us about pandemics and the lessons we can learn about how society can bounce back from such an event. They discuss comparisons of the current COVID-19 pandemic with The Second World War, in particular The Blitz. The 1918 Flu Pandemic and the wearing of masks and the acceptance of 'germ theory' and the plague, with how it affected theatre in the time of Shakespeare and the parallels to how live theatres now are affected. The panellists include, Professor Susan Watkins, Dr Henry Irving, Dr Nick Cox, Dr Jessica Van Horssen and Dr Erich DeWald.
The second podcast titled Changes to lives and cultures, the panel discuss how our lives have been changed by the pandemic and the ways that it has affected how we engage with culture. The focus mainly being on virtual communication and engagement through using technology. Whether this has changed our relationship with our own bodies and to others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether our feelings and relationships with urban cities and culture has altered, especially during lockdowns. Also discussion on how our relationship with food has changed, from panic buying to the popularity from home baking as the lockdown progressed. The panellists include, Professor Susan Watkins, Dr Rachel Rich, Dr Melanie Chan and Dr Aaron Andrews.
The third episode called Stigma, social inequality and cultural resistance the panel examine how lockdown has made stigma and social inequality worse, but also how we can see challenge and resistance to that in the culture around us. They discuss how COVID-19 impacts age and weight and the stigma of this in the media but also how Black and ethnic minority groups are affected by COVID-19 and the resistance to social and cultural inequalities they face. The panellists include, Professor Susan Watkins, Dr Emily Zobel Marshall and Professor Jayne Raisborough.
The fourth and final episode, Writing and positive change, the panel examine how we can see positive personal and wider changes via writing as the pandemic eases. They discuss how writing can help us process difficult times, it can make meaning and connections between things that can combat certain feelings such as isolation and loneliness and how writing can promote change that needs to recognised and valued during the global pandemic. The panel consists of Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, Professor Susan Watkins, Dr Rachel Connor and Dr James McGrath.
Susan Watkins is Professor in the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities and Director of the Centre for Culture and the Arts. She is an expert in contemporary women's fiction and feminist theory.