Processing the Pandemic III: Hope —Interdisciplinary Approaches to Emotions in the Wake of COVID19

Bryan Brazeau's picture
Call for Papers
November 28, 2022
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Black History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies, Native American History / Studies



Processing the Pandemic III: Hope 

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Emotions in the Wake of COVID19

The University of Warwick, April 13-14, 2023


The Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at the University of Warwick, along with the Center for Renaissance Studies and the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library are pleased to announce that abstracts are now being accepted for the final phase of Processing the Pandemic: a multi-year series of seminars and symposia that explore how the experiences of the past may guide society’s emotional and social responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. How can we—as an open community of scholars, teachers, archivists, social workers, and practitioners—learn from these experiences and from each other in transformative, inspiring, transdisciplinary ways? How can such dialogues reframe existing discussions around the history of emotions, our responses to trauma, and how we navigate from loss to hope? Moreover, how can the study of peoples’ responses to traumatic events in the past and present help guide our own experience of the pandemic and its unfolding future?

Following our first in-person symposium on Loss at the Newberry Library in April 2022, and an ongoing series of virtual seminars, we are now inviting proposals for the final event in the series: a transdisciplinary symposium around the theme of Hope to be held at the University of Warwick on April 13-14, 2023. Hybrid participation is possible, though we would warmly encourage speakers to join us in person if this is both feasible and sustainable.

Processing the Pandemic III: Hope will conclude our discussions as we attempt to trace new pathways to answer the question of how communities in both the past and present move from Loss to Hope, navigating the complex constellations of emotions that result from such crises. 

More broadly, these roundtable events seek to foster open and transformative conversations on these topics between scholars, artists, and professionals in a variety of humanities fields: Native American and Indigenous studies, anti-racism and postcolonial studies, medieval studies, early modern studies, theology, creative arts, and more. We seek proposals from any field, discipline, region, or area of artistic practice that demonstrate a particular interest in how individuals and cultures have processed great crises in the past or present, keyed to particular emotional responses. These guiding responses may include, but are not limited to the broader headings of: Resolve, Vulnerability, Gratitude, Resiliency, Survivance, and Hope. 

In all proposals, we encourage scholars and artists to not only present their material, but also to engage in a reflective turn, exploring how their own experiences of the pandemic have come to inform their work (and vice versa).


These proposals can be of several types:

  1. 10-15 minute presentations for roundtable discussions on responses to past traumatic events from any period.
  2. 20-30 minute pedagogic mini-workshops - where participants both teach something and reflect/explore how such an approach articulates a “pedagogy of hope” (broadly defined).
  3. 20-30 minute creative presentations imagining post-pandemic futures, alternate futures, and new ways forward informed by responses to traumatic events. Such presentations should also include a brief discussion by the artist on the thought that animated their creative output.

Co-proposals are warmly welcomed for such seminars.


Please submit a proposal and a brief bio to by Monday, November 28, 2022.

The proposal should include:

  1. Whether you are proposing a brief paper for roundtable discussion, a pedagogic mini-workshop, or a creative piece. 
  2. The guiding emotion your contribution addresses (e.g., Gratitude, Resiliency, Hope, etc)
  3. Whether you would prefer to attend a virtual or in-person event.
  4. Whether your paper/seminar might be of interest to practitioners (social workers, nurses, etc…)
  5. A 300-word abstract.

Faculty and graduate students from Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies Consortium institutions may be eligible for reimbursement of their travel expenses via their institution’s travel funds. Check with your local consortium representative for details.

Contact Info: 

The conference is co-organised by:

Bryan Brazeau, Associate Professor, Liberal Arts, The University of Warwick

Rose Miron, Director, D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, The Newberry Library

Christopher Fletcher, Assistant Director, Center for Renaissance Studies, The Newberry Library

Contact Email: