2020-03-12T15:13:10+01:00

An anthropology perspective on the spread of Covid-19 virus in Hong Kong:

Tracing the spread of the Covid-19 virus requires following many kinds of transmissions and contagions, from infectious numbers to populist mobilizations, viral rumors to affective atmospheres. These forces course along multiple material-semiotic networks at different speeds and intensities, unsettling and transforming the city as they circulate. And yet, as literary scholar Priscilla Wald (2008) has shown, such complexities are often distilled and fixed into a familiar narrative of outbreak–spread–containment. Ethnographic, interdisciplinary, and publicly-engaged scholarship all have a crucial role to play in complicating such reductive narratives and bringing other stories to light. As the everyday experiences of Hongkongers reveals, the form and significance of this epidemic is still anything but settled. The virulent transmissions of Covid-19 may yet remake this city—and the world—in profound and unforeseeable ways.

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Wouter Van Rossem
Wouter Van Rossem

My research interests include distributed robotics, mobile computing and programmable matter.