Day 1 of this conference is free and open to members of the Dartmouth community
At a time when there are numerous scientific surveys and governmental prognostications about COVID-19, there are still relatively few events dedicated to the subjective toll of the virus. “In the Wake of the Plague: Eros and Mourning” responds to this call with a sense that, because our situation today is unprecedented, such an inquiry calls for an urgent reassessment of the categories of modern thought and therefore offers a unique opportunity for collaboration between philosophy, science, and the humanities to conceive of the possible new coordinates of our world today. In light of the converging crises of COVID, racial violence, resurgent nationalism, and environmental collapse, what is now possible for human beings? Despite the pervasive suffering that assails our world in the wake of the plague, is there a way that these very energies of loss and grief could lead to the reconstitution of social bonds?
“In the Wake of the Plague” stages an intervention into the current global crisis in five distinct forms:
- As a philosophical exploration that, first, cognitively maps the conditions and subjective consequences of the current pandemic amid the impending collapse of the political, economic, and environmental systems that support life. And second, asks, can the negative conditions of the pandemic make possible new forms of social life?
- As an interdisciplinary meeting of minds from across Dartmouth: researchers from The Dartmouth Institute sharing their work on the pandemic will join scholars from English, Comparative Literature, WGSS, AAAS, Geography, and Digital Humanities to think of creative new solutions to the world-situation "in the wake."
- A presentation of clinical and narrative testimonial perspectives on unacknowledged forms of grieving and how these affect the intersubjective relations and ethical practices of human beings living here and now.
- A venue for Dartmouth students to share their unique concerns and ideas about how the pandemic continues to affect our local community and beyond.
- A comparative investigation into the classical (Ancient Greek) understanding of the interrelationship of eros (love/desire), mourning and plagues with the political crisis of insurrection or civil war, and how this ancient problematic continues to influence our current moment.
This conference is sponsored by the Leslie Center for the Humanities, the Provost, the Dartmouth Institute, the Associate Dean of Faculty for the Arts and Humanities, Palliative Care, The Ethics Institute, The Eric Eichler ’57 Fellowship, the Society of Fellows, the Center for Death and Society (University of Bath), the Good Grief Festival (Lucy Selman) and the Dartmouth Student Union. Additionally, this conference is supported by the following departments and programs: English and Creative Writing, MALS, Film and Media Studies, Digital Humanities, Government, Music, Classics, Philosophy, AAAS, WGSS, German, and Art History.
Thursday, 4/21, features three main events, all at Collis Common Ground: 1. A presentation of the research of The Dartmouth Institute. 2. A presentation of poetry and stories by Dartmouth undergraduates about the plague. 3. A presentation organized by the Dartmouth Student Union devoted to the issues facing the Dartmouth community in a time of dire urgency.
All events are free.