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This workshop is convened by Louisa Schein (Rutgers) and Fan Yang (University of Maryland Baltimore County). It is co-sponsored by Rutgers Global-China Office.
In this exploratory workshop, we will brainstorm Chinese keywords related to COVID-19, words that take us into the social life of the pandemic in China and beyond. What are the salient words that shed light on daily lives in and beyond quarantine? How do words intersect the use of media and technology under lockdown? What do the incommensurabilities between Chinese and English words, such as 拐点 (guai dian) versus the curve, 隔离 (ge li) versus social distancing, tell us about the different experiences in the epicenters of first China and later the US? With an eye towards deepening our ongoing discussion of keywords for Media and Technology, what can we learn about disparate technologies - from surveillance devices to governance to scientific discourse - that synergize in this coronavirus moment? What might be laid bare about the connotations of words in each context by the urgency of public health?