lights shining through a high fence

The research centre Concurrences sheds light on the Covid-19 pandemic

Vulnerable groups in Sweden, in Europe, and in the world will be severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. To highlight this, Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies has created a resource for research into the pandemic, focusing on its social, economic and cultural aspects.

The media coverage of the Coronavirus and the Covid-19 disease is comprehensive. To highlight the social, economic and cultural effects of the pandemic, Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies gathers new research, opinion pieces and journalism that focus on these aspects on their webpage and their Facebook page.

Johan Höglund is professor of English literature and director for Concurrences.

Why are you doing this?

"Vulnerable groups in Sweden, in Europe, and in the world will have already been much more severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. People who are homeless, who lack running water and access to health care struggle to protect themselves from the pandemic. The same people will also suffer the most severely from the economic crisis that the pandemic brings with it. At the same time, the pandemic is reducing the strain on the environment.

"What does that mean in the long and the short run? As a postcolonial research centre, we want to shed light on this reality."

So will you focus primarily on developing nations?

"The pandemic affects vulnerable and marginalized people everywhere, and such people exist also in Sweden. We collect and disseminate knowledge about this development regardless of where it takes place."

Are you primarily interested in research in the Social Sciences?

"Much of the research that we collect, perform ourselves, and help spread belongs to the social sciences, but historical and cultural perspectives are also very important. This is not the first time that the world experiences a pandemic. How has the world dealt with pandemics in the past? How do the many pandemic narratives that exist in literature and film shape our understanding of the ongoing crisis?"

What are your hopes for this initiative?

"In the short term, an increased awareness of how uneven this growing crisis is. Such an awareness can create solidarity and reduce suffering. There are also signs that racism and xenophobia are on the rise in society, and it is important to address that development.

"In the long run, I hope that the research that emerges out of this crisis can show how important it is for us to break down the enormous class differences within global society. This pandemic may be the beginning of a shift in our relationship both with other people and with the planet of which we are a part."

How does one contact you for more information?

"Several researchers are studying the ongoing development. You can reach them via the news items we post on our webpage, or by e-mailing the administrator of the centre Åse Magnusson."