Anthropological Contributions to the Covid-19 Crisis: Borgstrom, Cohn and Driessen & Árnason
Thursday 30 July 2020, 03:00pm - 05:00pm
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Anthropological Contributions to the Covid-19 Crisis


Thursday 30 July 2020 at 3pm (BST)

A video of the event is available here

End-of-life care in England during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Dr Erica Borgstrom, Open University
Prof Simon Cohn, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Dr Annelieke Driessen, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

The pandemic is inescapably foregrounding questions relating to death and dying. The number and time-concentration of COVID-19 patients requiring end-of-life care is stretching NHS resources in the UK, while the care of other patients is in danger of being displaced. Professionals are having to make rapid and often very difficult decisions, concerning who is appropriate for specialist care, the need for planning in advance, and the urgency to talk with patients and relatives about these issues, often despite physical distancing. This seminar will explore the ways in which end-of-life care has been foregrounded and changed, examining what the consequences of this arising from urgency of the pandemic are rather than more ecological changes across the NHS and society more generally.

Good death, bad deaths and the subject with/without care
Dr Arnar Árnason, University of Aberdeen

The Covid-19 crisis is, among other things, a crisis of death. It is a crisis of death not only because of the number of deaths or the very uneven way in which its mortality is distributed, but also in the way in which people die of Covid-19. Anthropologists have long noted the culturally variable and widely important notion of a ‘good death’ while the interdisciplinary death studies have detailed what kind of deaths are marked as ‘good’ in broadly speaking contemporary western cultural contexts. Drawing on insights from these fields, I propose to discuss ‘good death’ and bad deaths in Iceland and the UK during Covid-19, and what they reveal about everyday politics of subjects of care.

This will be held on Zoom. To register please go to