MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of “In the Clouds: COVID-19, Dystopian Reality, and Online Carnival,” a panel discussion edited by Shiqi Lin and Kaiyang Xu. A snippet appears below; to read the whole thing, go to https://u.osu.edu/mclc/online-series/in-the-clouds/. My thanks to the two editors and to the other panel participants for sharing their thoughts on this important topic.
Kirk Denton, editor
Edited by Shiqi Lin and Kaiyang Xu
Participants: Jenny Chio | Belinda Kong | Shiqi Lin | Carlos Rojas | Kaiyang Xu
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright May 2020)
Shiqi Lin and Kaiyang Xu
This collection of short essays and Q&A series derives from an online panel, “In the Clouds: COVID-19, Dystopian Reality and Online Carnival,” which was put together in response to the global spread of the epidemic since February 2020. Convened by Shiqi Lin (UC Irvine) and Kaiyang Xu (USC), this panel was held on Zoom on March 26, 2020 with an audience across the world. Drawing inspiration from “cloud clubbing,” a creative practice engaged by self-quarantined Chinese web users during the pandemic, this “cloud panel” was an experimental endeavor to discuss digital media, societal fears, and the responsibility of humanities scholars in a time of crisis. The panel brought together scholars working on biopolitics, media studies, video ethnography, urban studies, diaspora studies, and Chinese cultural studies to discuss the sources of pandemic anxieties; humor, care and intimacy animated by creative uses of social media; and the implications of social media in border-crossing. As the spread of the pandemic coincided with a transitional period of remote teaching in academia, the panel was also set up as a space for exploring alternative modes of intellectual collaboration during the pandemic.
The panel was carried out under two shared beliefs. First, in the face of a global crisis, collaboration and dialogue are needed more than ever. Acknowledging the limits of individual strengths brought the panel together, as a reminder that we all need to think collectively, draw expertise from each other and learn from each other in a time of radical uncertainties. In honor of various academic conferences disrupted by the global spread of the pandemic in March 2020, this panel was conducted as a gesture to carry forward the spirit of dialogue and broaden the possibilities of engaging academics in turbulent times. . . . (click her to read all the essays and comments)