Lockdown Cultures The arts and humanities in the year of the pandemic, 2020-21

Lockdown Cultures is a book that serves as both a cultural response to the Covid-19 pandemic and a manifesto for the arts and humanities in our post-pandemic society. The book offers a unique perspective on how the humanities analyzed and were impacted by the pandemic, highlighting the value of art and culture in helping us understand the crisis and engaging with cultural products from the past. While the book was inspired by the pandemic, it also reflects a lasting concern with the humanities' relevance in the twenty-first century. The book features more than thirty individual contributions from UCL's leading arts and humanities faculty, showcasing interdisciplinary thinking and examining how the pandemic has changed our approach to reading, writing, watching, and educating. In sum, Lockdown Cultures reasserts the importance of the arts and humanities for contemporary society in response to a globally impactful event.

Stella Bruzzi

Table of Contents:

List of figures
List of contributors

Maurice Biriotti

Part I: Politics
1 ‘Give me liberty or death’
Lee Grieveson
2 Translating Covid-19 information into Yiddish for the Montreal-area Hasidic community
Lily Kahn, Zoë Belk, Kriszta Eszter Szendrői, and Sonya Yampolskaya
3 Shakespeare and the plague of productivity
Harvey Wiltshire
4 The decolonial option and the end of the world
Izabella Wodzka
5 Distant together: creative community in UK DIY music during Covid-19
Kirsty Fife
6 Now are we cyborgs? Affinities and technology in the Covid-19 lockdowns
Emily Baker and Annie Ring

Part II: History
7 Reflections on Covid-like pathogens in ancient Mesopotamia
Markham J. Geller
8 Handwashing save slives: producing and accepting new knowledge in Jens Bjørneboe’s Semmelweis (1968)
Elettra Carbone
9 Experience and coping with isolation: what we can see from ethnic Germans in Britain 1914–18
Mathis J. Gronau
10 Unexpectedly withdrawn and still engaged: reflections on the experiences of the Roman writer and politician Marcus Tullius Cicero
Gesine Manuwald
11 The Gallic Sack of Rome: an exemplum for our times
Elizabeth McKnight
12 On Spinalonga
Panayiota Christodoulidou

Part III: Performance, identity and the screen
13 The thing itself
Alexander Samson
14 Towards a new history: The corona-seminar and the drag king virus
Helena Fallstrom
15 ‘In spite of the tennis’: Beckett’s sporting apocalypse’
Sam Caleb
16 Screening dislocated despair: projecting the neoliberal left-behinds in 100 Flowers Hidden Deep
Nashuyuan Serenity Wang
17 A digital film for digital times: some lockdown thoughts on Gravity
Stephen M. Hart
18 The Great Plague: London’s Dreaded Visitation, 1665
Justin Hardy

Part IV: Literature and writing
19 Lessons for lockdown from Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain
Jennifer Rushworth
20 The locked room: On reading crime fiction during the Covid-19 pandemic
Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen
21 The weight of the shrinking world
Florian Mussgnug
22 A voice-mail lyric for a discipline in crisis: On Ben Lerner’s ‘The Media’
Matthew James Holman
23 20,000 leagues under confinement
Patrick Bray
24 Reflections on Guixiu literary cultures in East Asia
Tzu-Yu Lin

Part V: Personal reflections
25 At home: Vaughan Williams' 'The Water Mill; and new meaninsg of 'quotidian'
Annika Lindskog
26 The habit of freedom
Naomi Siderfin
27 Pandemic dreaming
Adelais Mills
28 In pursuit of blandness: On re-reading Jullien’s In Praise of Blandness during lockdown
Emily Furnell
29 Blinded lights: going viral during the Covid-19 pandemic
Sarah Moore

Part VI: Visual responses
30 Morphologies of agents of the pandemic
SMRU (The Social Morphologies Research Unit : Davdi Burrows,Martin Holbraad, John Cussans, Kelly Fagan Robinson, Melanie Jackson, Dean Kenning, Inigo Minns, Lucy Sames, Hermione Spriggs, Mary Yacoob)
31 Wildfire
John Thomson and Alison Craighead
32 Poems from Gospel Oak
Sharon Morris
33 I have a studio (visit) therefore I exist
Carey Young, Alice Channer, Anne Hardy and Karin Ruggaber
34 Inventory
Jayne Parker
35 After a long time or a short time
Elisabeth S. Clark
36 When the roof blew off
Joe Cain