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Online series organized by Eva Meijer | This series of online talks is meant to collectively investigate the philosophical meaning of long covid and similar conditions, in relation to phenomenology, politics, gender and other topics, and to contribute to a more caring status quo in academia and beyond.

The Covd-19 pandemic caused a spur of philosophical reflection: about biopolitics, anti-vaxxers and vaccination freedom, global multispecies health and many other topics. Long covid, not so much. This is unfortunate, because it raises many philosophical questions. Phenomenological questions, concerning body and mind, rationality, and social isolation. But also political questions, concerning the lack of care in neoliberal societies, or solidarity. Making space for long covid in academia matters not only theoretically: a large number of philosophers, other academics, and students are ill long term or disabled permanently, but this is currently invisible in academic discourse and university policies.

Long covid is not a new or unknown condition: it is a post-viral illness, similar to other multisystem diseases like ME/CFS, Lyme Disease, or Q-Fever Fatigue Syndrom – the + in the name of this series is meant to reflect this similarity and to invite those suffering from these and related conditions to join the conversations. However, because the majority of the patients are female and because patients cannot advocate for themselves (or only to a very limited degree), there is a lack of medical attention for and research about these diseases. This medical-political disinterest is interconnected with a lack of solidarity with those who are ill in academia, activism and society more generally.

This series of online talks is meant to collectively investigate the philosophical meaning of long covid and similar conditions, in relation to phenomenology, politics, gender and other topics, and to contribute to a more caring status quo in academia and beyond. We invite abstracts for a series of short online presentations. All sessions will be recorded and available to watch later for those who subscribe. There will also be opportunity to connect and respond to the talks in written form. The format of the series might be updated as we go along, to be as inclusive and accessible as possible.

Possible topics for talks include:

The phenomenology of long covid: feelings and affect, rationality and long covid, the distortion of experience in multisystem diseases.

The language of long covid: the lack of a vocabulary to describe the experience of fatigue, brain fog, PEM and related symptoms, living without being able to communicate with others, possibilities for improving speaking about and with those who are ill.

Medical gaslighting and medical misogyny.

Long covid and invisibility, long covid and the media, (the absence of) narratives, stories and art.

Long covid and gender, race, and socio-economic status.

Long covid as a zoonosis, One Health, and multispecies health.

Post-viral diseases and solidarity, relations to other long-term illnesses, intersections with other forms of marginalization.

Long covid and social isolation, loneliness, and silence.

Long-term illness and bureaucracy in neoliberal societies, including in academia.

Care in academia and beyond.

The deadline for sending in abstracts/proposals for Fall/Winter 2024-2025 is August 1st.

If you want to present, please send your abstract or idea for a conversation to: Eloe Kingma at asca-fgw@uva.nl

If you want to attend the talks or stay updated about the events, please email: Eloe Kingma at asca-fgw@uva.nl