Event Rewind: Faculty Roundtable on the Coronavirus Pandemic

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On April 27, Sarah Lawrence faculty held a roundtable discussion focused on different aspects of the Pandemic Crash of 2020. It is envisaged that the discussion will facilitate an interdisciplinary conversation regarding the multifaceted and intersectional nature of this catastrophic crisis. The faculty talks focus on a wide range of topics, ranging from psychology and domestic inequality to political economy and global refugee flows.


Meghan Jablonski, Psychology
Virtually Ours: Virtual connections and well-being in a time of social isolation

Within just a few months, a world structured around in person gatherings reversed course due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, day to day life shifted to digital spaces - opportunities to work, learn, see a familiar face, connect with their community, or escape their four walls. Social isolation and prolonged uncertainty can take a toll on our mental and physical health. How might online connections and virtual spaces help ease these effects as we adjust to new realities and plan the path ahead? This presentation will consider the fortifying role of online connections, virtual communities, parasocial relationships, and social simulation games.

An Li, Economics
Who lives on the wrong side of COVID-19 track in the US? A community-based analysis

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is the greatest challenge countries around the world have faced in the 21st century. Besides its global scale and suddenness, there is a growing concern that the pandemic will have uneven effect on the society. A critical public health question is to identify key population groups and places that are more likely to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In this study, leveraging current county-level COVID-19 data from the US and ZIP-code level data from eight US states, and applying the social determinants of health framework, we examined the geographic pattern of the pandemic. We focused on estimating the association between COVID-19 case count (and case density) and community-level (county-level and ZIP-code level) population social economic status.

Jamee Moudud, Economics
Beyond Pathogenic Politics

In considering the recent stock market crash the casual observer cannot help but be struck by the way in which history repeats itself. Seen in retrospect the current second major crisis of the twenty-first century appears to eerily parallel the first one at the end of the previous decade. Then, as now, the prelude to the crisis was a period of hubris in élite circles whose triumphalism celebrated booming stock markets, GDP growth, and falling unemployment rates. This talk will focus on the common roots of the financial market crash of 2007/2008 and the pandemic crash of 2020. It will be argued that toxic pathogens and toxic financial assets are two sides of the same coin which is financial (“free market”) globalization. In other words Covid-19 did not appear out of nowhere and its catastrophe consequences that we are collectively experiencing could have been avoided. The talk will conclude by discussing policy and political alternatives to provide us with some sense of hope in these dark times when the future looks dim.

Parthiban Muniandy, Sociology
COVID-19 and Displacement

How is the COVID-19 outbreak affecting displaced communities around the world? The adoption and enforcement of social distancing, lock-downs and economic shutdowns disproportionately impact highly precarious and marginalized groups, including refugees and undocumented migrants. Outbreaks are likely to devastate people living in overcrowded camps and settlements, with little to no help likely to arrive. At the same time, these largely invisible communities perform some of the most essential labor for societies - from food production to waste management - while many rely on informal sectors and practices for their livelihoods. I'll present a special focus on the Rohingya refugee communities in Southeast Asia, one of the most vulnerable stateless groups in the world, experiencing genocide at the hands of the Burmese state.

About Sarah Lawrence College

Founded in 1926, Sarah Lawrence is a prestigious, coeducational liberal arts college that consistently ranks among the leading liberal arts colleges in the country. Sarah Lawrence is known for its pioneering approach to education, rich history of impassioned intellectual and civic engagement, and vibrant, successful alumni. In close proximity to the unparalleled offerings of New York City, the historic campus is home to an intellectually curious and diverse community.