Mediathek Event
Sep 22, 2020
Covid-19 in the Rearview Mirror? Pandemics and Historical Perspective

How have research questions and practices changed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic? This roundtable discussion looks back at the tumultuous year that has passed thus far. Panelists will reflect upon methodological changes for their work as a result of the outbreak and since they produced their videos for the MPIWG’s “History of Science ON CALL” project in 2020.


  • Harry Yi-Jui Wu (Hong Kong University)
  • Edna Bonhomme (MPIWG)
  • Anna Elsner (University of Zurich)

Moderated by Lisa Onaga (MPIWG)

No prior reading or preparation is required for this event series, but we do invite everyone to take a look at the History of Science ON CALL videos. There will be ample time for discussion with the audience.

Paint swirl Institute's Colloquium

Image: Sharon McCutcheon, Pixabay 2020.

About the Institute's Colloquium Series 2020/21

Crisis and Capacity: Perspectives in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Months have passed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. People have experienced the effects of the virus’ rapid global spread: the politicization of medicine, worldwide shortages of and bidding wars for protective equipment, disputes and uneven public health messaging about prevention and treatments, disproportionate distributions of health risks in populations, and mass mortality. While many issues related to the Covid-19 outbreak are dealt with by scientists and health practitioners—such as the search for treatments and cures—other concerns command the expertise of scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

Developing from the MPIWG's History of Science ON CALL video project, the Institute’s Colloquium 2020/21 therefore facilitates conversations around how humanities and social sciences scholars might deliberately or inadvertently form a long view of critical contemporary issues, aiming to:

  1. Normalize reflexive intellectual discussions about challenging topics about inequalities such as race or gender
  2. Connect to other dialogues within and beyond Berlin about plural histories and sociologies of crises

Ultimately, the program seeks to bring to the fore various insights into local, regional, and international cooperation and academic work prompted by Covid-19.

The Institute’s Colloquium occurs once per month during the academic year. For further information about the series, please contact Lisa Onaga and/or Stephanie Hood.

Institute's Colloquium: Covid-19 in the Rearview Mirror?