This page explores some of the many ways members of the CSSH community are engaging with broader audiences in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic. If you are a member of CSSH, please submit news items you would like to see featured.

Research and Engagement

The State of the Nation: A 50-State COVID-19 Survey

The survey and corresponding report was created by David Lazer, University Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Computer and Information Sciences; Matthew A. Baum, Harvard University; Katherine Ognyanova, Rutgers University; John Della Volpe, Harvard University, with support from Alexi Quintana, Hanyu Chwe, Stefan McCabe, all PhD Students at Northeastern’s Network Science Institute. The survey was conducted from April 17 – 26 across all fifty states, with the results presented in the report.

A Journal of the Plague Year: An Archive of COVID-19

Victoria Cain, Associate Professor of History, has joined the leadership team of this digital archive. Cain and Ellen Irmiter, a history major at CSSH, will also serve as curators. Inspired by the digital archive Dan Cohen, now Dean of Libraries at Northeastern, helped establish after 9/11, this digital repository is a collaborative effort to crowdsource images, oral histories, videos, and stories about the global experience of COVID-19. One of its primary aims is to ensure the archive represents diverse experiences—that it isn’t limited to the experiences of a particular generation, ethnic group, socioeconomic strata, or the like—but sufficiently captures the breadth and depth of experiences during this uncertain time.

Read Journal

COVID-19: How to be Safe and Resilient

Many scholars across the university contributed to the COVID-19 short course organized by Stephen Flynn, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Global Resilience Institute. The hour-long online course, free and accessible to anyone, provides a credible, digestible collection of skills to help individuals and households manage the pandemic. The following CSSH faculty helped create the content utilized on the site and in the online course.

  • Brian Helmuth, Professor, Marine and Environmental Science Center, College of Social Science & Humanities
  • Alisa Lincoln, Professor of Sociology (CSSH) and Health Sciences (Bouvé); Associate Dean of Research (CSSH); Director, Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research (Bouvé)
  • Jennie Stephens, Director of Strategic Research Collaborations, Global Resilience Institute; Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy

View Course

#coronavirussyllabus: a crowdsourced cross-disciplinary resource

Sari Altschuler, Associate Professor of English, and Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Distinguished Professor of English, are crowdsourcing a public syllabus on pandemics, community, and health in the context of COVID-19.

View Resource

Northeastern Jewish Studies Blog

The Jewish Studies program at Northeastern University has created a blog to engage students, faculty, and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Initial posts have been created by Simon Rabinovitch, Associate Professor of History, and Deanna Schwartz ’22, 2020 Ruderman Scholar. Students, faculty, and the larger CSSH community is encouraged to submit proposals for posts (including texts, images, video, and sound) on any topic in Jewish studies to

View Blog

Writing As Healing During COVID-19

The Writing Program and Writing Center will sponsor three weeks of online writing workshops for NU faculty, staff, students, and the community at large. How can we begin to process and account for our experience during this time of unrest, loss, and suspension? We believe that writing can be a powerful tool for reflecting and healing. We hope that these workshops will begin to provide a space for healing to happen.

Workshops are free, open to the public, and welcome writers of all levels and disciplines. Each workshop is a week long (Monday-Friday). During this time, participants will receive daily writing prompts and readings, which will culminate in an online session together at the end of the week. Those interested will receive feedback on a single piece of writing that they have produced during the week.

  • April 27 to May 1 – “Chronicle of Healing” with Cat Tyc
  • May 4 to May 8 –  “We Are All Sitting In Rooms” with Ed Steck
  • May 18 to May 22  – “Writing as Healing: Of Being Numerous” with Emmalea Russo


COVID-19 pandemic in the African continent: forecasts of cumulative cases, new infections, and mortality

Richard Wamai, Associate Professor of Cultures, Societies and Global Studies, has co-authored a paper for medRxiv, which examines the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Africa. The paper is the first systematic attempt to provide prevalence, incidence, and mortality estimates across Africa. His research concludes that less urbanized countries with low levels of socio-economic development (hence least connected to the world), are likely to register lower and slower transmissions at the early stages of an epidemic. However, the same enabling factors that worked for their benefit can hinder interventions that have lessened the impact of COVID-19 elsewhere.

Social ties, quarantine policy, and the spread of COVID19
Daniel Aldrich, Professor and Director of the Security and Resilience Studies program in the Department of Political Science,
received a grant from the CSSH to conduct a multilevel investigation of regional and institutional factors such as social ties, health care capacity, and mobility that may be the core drivers in stopping (or accelerating) infection of COVID-19.

Faculty In The News

WCVB, Prof. Alan Clayton-Matthews
Mass. unemployment rate remains one of nation’s highest


MetroWest Daily News, Prof. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Economists express caution over surprising jobs report


Boston Herald, Prof. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Public-sector cuts next cloud on jobs horizon


Fast Company, Prof. Joan Fitzgerald
Emissions dropped during COVID-19. Here’s what cities can do to keep them from rising


Washington Post, Prof. Elizabeth Bucar
Trump wants masks to be a 2020 wedge issue. But Americans, including Republicans, support them.


The Atlantic, Prof. Tiffany Joseph
Where fears of deportation made the pandemic worse


News@Northeastern, Prof. Richard Wamai
The immunization effect in Africa


News@Northeastern, Prof. David Lazer
A majority in the U.S. supports making mail-in voting easier, new study shows


FiveThirtyEight, Prof. David Lazer
Most Americans Haven’t Stopped Trusting Scientists


News@Northeastern, Prof. David Lazer
New survey shows growing partisan divide in support for reopening the U.S.


Vox, Prof. Alicia Sasser Modestino
You can’t turn the economy back on like a light switch


News@Northeastern, Prof. Rory Smead
The person walking past you isn’t wearing a mask. What should you say?


Wired, Prof. Daniel Aldrich
A ‘Hyperactive’ Hurricane Season Is About to Strike


The Atlantic, Prof. Tiffany Joseph
America’s Patchwork Pandemic Is Fraying Even Further


Boston Globe, Profs. Dan O’Brien and Alicia Sasser Modestino
Innovation will help us rebuild


Boston Globe, Profs. Alan Clayton-Matthews and Alicia Sasser Modestino
With plummeting revenues, state should impose a temporary tax increase


The Conversation, Prof. Costas Panagopoulos
Coronavirus: new survey shows how Republicans and Democrats are responding differently


Arab News, Prof. Elizabeth Bucar
Niqabi women speak out about the surge in mainstream face-covering


Grist, Prof. Daniel Aldrich
Forget the TP: Here’s what you really need to get through a disaster


Washington Post, Prof. Elizabeth Bucar
Masks are here to stay. And they’re quickly becoming a way to express ourselves.


NBC Boston, Prof. David Lazer
Clash continues over when to reopen Maine


MassLive, Prof. Alan Clayton-Matthews
Massachusetts economy declined 6.1% in first quarter says economists who warn of more coronavirus pain to come


WBUR, Prof. Alicia Sasser Modestino
Bills, Taxes, Donations: How People Are Spending Their Coronavirus Relief Money


News@Northeastern, Prof. David Lazer
U.S. public is ‘firmly opposed’ to reopening the economy immediately


News@Northeastern, Prof. Alicia Sasser Modestino
How will the economy bounce back after COVID-19?


Washington Post, Prof. David Lazer
These three governors are reopening their states faster than their voters want


News@Northeastern, Prof. John Kwoka
There aren’t enough ventilators and hospital beds. Anti-trust laws have a lot to do with it.


News@Northeastern, Prof. Laura Senier
Water is ‘a fundamental human right’


Citylab, Prof. David Lazer
To combat coronavirus, scientists are also breaking down barriers


WAMC, Prof. Timothy Hoff
COVID-19: How students are learning & will med schools change?


Salon, Prof. Daniel Aldrich
Gavin Newsom’s new volunteer corps may save lives — but is the risk too high?


Newsweek, Prof. Tiffany Joseph
Trump’s immigration policies are making the coronavirus pandemic worse


Washington Post, Prof. Sari Altschuler
Covid-19 is forcing us to dwell in uncertainty. History can help.


WUWF, Prof. Timothy Hoff
Health Care Professor: ‘Pandemic Could Be Catalyst For Change’


Washington Examiner, Prof. James Alan Fox
Coronavirus crime wave threatens to emerge from economic downturn and prisoner releases


Time Magazine, Prof. Richard Wamai
What Trump’s WHO Funding Freeze Means for the Most Vulnerable Countries


Boston Globe, Prof. James Alan Fox
Experts predict plummeting state revenues will put Mass. in dire straits, Prof. James Alan Fox
‘Unprecedented’ upheaval leaves hazy picture of state’s post-coronavirus recovery, experts say


HuffPost, Prof. James Alan Fox
As Nation Stays Home, Early Indicators Suggest Rise In Domestic Violence Killings


experience, Prof. Richard Wamai
Our gaping blind spot in the fight against pandemics


Washington Post
, Prof. James Alan Fox
D.C. seeing drop in robberies during pandemic, but assaults are up


PreventionWeb, Prof. Daniel Aldrich
Cultivating social ties in the age of physical distancing


Medical Economics, Prof. Timothy Hoff
How will other needed care be provided during the pandemic?


The Gloaming Podcast, Prof. Daniel Aldrich
Resilience in the time of COVID-19


MassLive, Prof. Alan Clayton-Matthews
Massachusetts employer confidence takes historic nosedive in March


Nonprofit Quarterly, Prof. Daniel Aldrich
Going the Distance: Redefining the Narrative In the Pandemic


News@Northeastern, Prof. Williams Dickens
Is a recession necessary to fight COVID-19?


News@Northeastern, Prof. Alisa Lincoln 
‘Why am I having such a hard time when I’m not sick with the virus?’


Los Angeles Times, Prof. Daniel Aldrich
Isolation is hazardous to your health. The term ‘social distancing’ doesn’t help


News@Northeastern, Prof. Stephen Flynn
Is it time for President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act?


News@Northeastern, Prof. Tiffany Joseph
What about the people who aren’t self-isolating?


WBUR, Prof. Stephen Flynn
Resiliency Expert: ‘This Is A Pearl Harbor Moment’


News@Northeastern, Prof. Robert Triest 
Interest rate cut leaves U.S. Federal Reserve with little ammunition to fight potential recession


News@Northeastern, Prof. Mai’a Cross
How is the European Union dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and financial meltdown?


News@Northeastern, Prof. Daniel Aldrich
What U.S. communities shouldn’t forget in the COVID-19 state of emergency


Washington Post, Prof. Daniel Aldrich
Is ‘social distancing’ the wrong term? Expert prefers ‘physical distancing,’ and the WHO agrees.


Boston Globe, Prof. Victoria Cain
Journaling during the pandemic, for yourself and the historians


BBC, Prof. Daniel Aldrich
How firms move to secret offices amid Covid-19


Boston Globe, Prof. James Alan Fox
Look on the bright side: Arrests are way down during the coronavirus outbreak


Boston Globe, Prof. Alan Clayton-Matthews
Layoffs begin to mount as virus forces Massachusetts economy to shrink


Salon, Prof. Daniel Aldrich
Why “social distancing,” if done wrong, can make you more vulnerable


Boston Globe, Prof. Alan Clayton-Matthews
Bear market could hurt employment in Boston, particularly at fund firms


Benzinga, Prof. Stephen Flynn
COVID-19 Exposing Funding Shortfalls at US Ports