Politicians might say that ‘the virus does not discriminate’; however, the emerging picture of how COVID-19 is affecting different social groups tells another story. BME communities have suffered a disproportionate number of deaths; incidents of domestic abuse have increased; demand at food banks has increased; and new social divisions, such as between those who have a garden and those who do not, have appeared. COVID-19 is having an impact on other areas of healthcare too, including reproductive health. Restrictions on movement and medical procedures have disrupted access to contraception, abortions, and ante- and post-natal support, suspended IVF services, and limited options available during childbirth. Whilst ‘anyone can catch it’, not everyone will be able to shield themselves and their lives from the wider social and economic effects of COVID-19.
Signs of how the health crisis is affecting the academy are already emerging. The hiring freezes and suspension of fixed term contracts announced at many institutions will arguably affect underrepresented groups to a greater extent. In recent weeks, journal editors have remarked on how fewer women are submitting articles. Caroline Kitchener’s article for The Lily assesses this impact on submission numbers and, in turn, women’s careers. Familiar inequalities, such as emotional labour, household chores, and caring responsibilities, are becoming all the more stark during this period. And yet, calls for funding applications and submissions related to COVID-19 are appearing, suggesting that the health crisis may provide fruitful new avenues for scholarship – but only for those who have the time and capacity to undertake research at this time. In our own call, we are asking: what does COVID-19 mean for feminism within the academy?
We are looking for contributions to our website that address feminist practices within the academy during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Topics might include:
- Defining feminist practices and thought during the COVID-19 crisis
- Inequalities in the academy due to COVID-19
- New directions in feminist scholarship in response to COVID-19
- Doing feminist research alongside caring responsibilities during the COVID-19 crisis
- Doing feminist research while dealing with mental health during the COVID-19 crisis
- Performing acts of feminist solidarity during the COVID-19 crisis
- Feminist teaching and pedagogy during the COVID-19 crisis
- Charting the daily life of a feminist academic during the COVID-19 crisis
- Imagining a new feminist academy after COVID-19
Contributions may be written in prose, poetic forms, or as diary entries. Alternatively, we are open to receiving more artistic or creative responses, including audio or video submissions and visual formats. If you would like to make a contribution, please contact our Communications Team to discuss your ideas.