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Exploring the future of mobility in a post-Covid world

Web Talk Series, starting October 27, 2020

Corona Conversations is based on three assumptions: that there is a complicated yet crucial link between mobility and the contagion, that the world is henceforth divided into pre-Covid, Covid and post-Covid times, and that post-Covid time entails post-Covid realities likely to reshape human interactions both physical and digital - hence in need of immediate explorations. Consequently, in this series we explore how the Covid and post-Covid realities are going to condition the future of migration, mobility and transnationalism.

The need for a conversation on Covid’s impact on mobility stems from the unparalleled emphasis on the restrictions that governments across the world have put on human mobility in the wake of the contagion. It appears to be a quick assumption that that quarantines and lock downs are the most effective control mechanisms to contain the virus. Popular media has been equally quick to defend this assumption citing from the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918. Standing more than a hundred year later, one is forced to wonder if we need similar control mechanisms to address Covid 19 as we did for the Spanish Flu. There is no denying the fact that both frequency and extent of mobility have increased manifold times today than it was a century back. From that standpoint, with global shut down of flights, trains and roadways, on month’s end, resulting in restricted, disrupted and prohibited mobility of humans in a hyper-socialised and highly mobilized world, one ought to ask – what are the human(e) costs of restricted mobility as control mechanism of Covid? How does Covid 19 impact the future migration, mobility and transnationality trends? Does Covid fundamentally change the pattern of future mobility forever? How does one negotiate between the need to migrate and the need to protect against the contagion?

Dates of events:

  • October 27, 10:00: Remembering Spanish Flu during Covid-19: Reinforcing existing inequalities or opening up new opportunities? Panel discussion with Michaela Pelican (UoC), Ulrike Lindner (UoC), and Jonathan Ngeh (UoC).
  • November 9, 18:00: Can blue collar migrants survive city lives amidst Covid-19? Interview with Nina Glick Schiller, University of Manchester.

  • November 27, 12:00: Gendering the pandemic: Survival as resistance in times of crises. Interview with Ayona Datta, University College London.
  • December 9, 12:00: How will the future of "skilled" migration look like in a post-Covid situation?  Panel discussion with Binod Khadria(Jawaharlal Nehru University), Sunder Ramaswamy (Krea University), Carsten Butsch (UoC), Mr. Saif Khalid (Al Jazeera).

  • January 11: 10:00:  South Asian migrants in Great Britain: Does the pandemic hurt? Panel discussion with Pnina Werbner (Keele University), Fazila Bhimji (University of Central Lancashire).
  • January 27: 17:00: Societal cleavages and Covid as dual challenges for blue collar migrants Interview with Manuela Boatca (Albert Ludwig University Freiburg).
  • February 10: 12:00: Rise of nationalism and its effects on the diasporic communities in a post-Covid world. Interview with Peter Van der Veer (MPI Goettingen).

         (Times are UTC+1/ Berlin, please note your local time zone)



Amrita Datta


Web Talk Series


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