The Politics of Evidence in COVID-19 Discourse

COVID-19 and the Impossibility of Critique
Wednesday, 30 March 2022 - 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Off-campus address: 
Online - Zoom
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About the Open Lecture Series: COVID-19 and the impossibility of critique

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected all aspects of social, economic, cultural, and political life, including changes in social institutions, labour, and personal relationships. Debates about COVID-19, however, have been dominated by the logic of biomedical, epidemiological, and techno-scientific reasoning and expertise. The social and political effects of COVID-19 itself and its responses seem to occupy a second-tier position in addressing the crisis. Social scientists have been, with few exceptions, largely absent from public discussion and policymaking. We believe social scientists have a duty to explore the underlying intellectual, political, and cultural tensions that the COVID-19 crisis is revealing about social life in Canada and abroad.

About Lecture 2: The Politics of Evidence in COVID-19 Discourse

Ari Gandsman and Cristian Rangel in conversation with Mathew Mercuri and Loes Knaapen


i. To clarify that we are not interested in the biological details of the virus, nor in the technicalities of medical treatment or biomedical interventions.

ii. To state that we are interested in COVID-19 as a social event that reveals the workings of institutions – and the production of mattering: subjects, evidence, and expertise.

iii. The value of humanities and social sciences at a time of Crisis: G. Agamben and his Critics

iv. Review of topics for the lecture series.

This event is presented by the School of Medicine, the Medicine and the Humanities Program, and the Research Centre on the Future of Cities.