April 15, 2021 6:30-8:30 pm EST Zoom
|“Going Viral” is an opportunity to think with the logics and lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic about the ways that intimacy, mobility, information, body, nation, gender, and sexuality are imbricated through viruses, and other transmittable forms. |
Is the virus airborne? The constantly shifting data on how the Coronavirus spreads has reconfigured breath and other normative bodily habitations, from mask-wearing and hand sanitizing, to elbow-taps and grocery wiping.
|Through what fluids is the virus transmitted? Covid-19 has required reconsiderations of physical intimacy, with cities even publishing sex guides. The governance of intimacy is all too familiar to people considered “at risk” of HIV infection: queer and trans people, sex workers, migrants, and drug users.|
Does the virus know gender? Computer viruses named Melissa and ILOVEYOU signal how gender, intimacy, and affect become vectors for digital migrations. But along with viruses travel techniques of care and survival that are distinctly gendered; consider the recurring report that nations with women leaders handled pandemic response better.
Is racism the virus? Racist attacks have targeted Asian people, casting them as originators and spreaders of Covid-19. HIV, Ebola, H1N1, and Avian Flu have each been attached to particular racialized populations in ways that cast suspicion on their sexual and intimate proximities with humans and other animals. Further, reports of higher infection rates amongst Black and Latinx populations pulled the veil back on unequal structures of labor, housing, and access to medical care.
The current pandemic is an accumulation of many viral histories. This panel invites scholars to draw form their original research to explore the traffic in viral discourse and the pathways of transmission—of data, bodies, feelings, ideology—through feminist, queer, and trans lenses.