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No Going Back: Global Communication and Post-Pandemic Politics

April 8 - April 9


On suddenly sparse streets, artists confront the grim reality of the moment. With a nod to the anti-globalization movement or the music notes seemingly playing off the guest that has overstayed its welcome, both messages diagnose the ailment and gesture toward a hope for and belief in change. In a moment shaped by closures – of borders, stores, schools, offices, jobs, and, for many, a dream of “going back to normal” – what openings are made possible?

The second biennial early career conference by the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication (CARGC) at the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania asks: What are post-pandemic politics? We understand post-pandemic, not as a myopic focus on COVID-19, but rather as an optic illuminating both persistent and emergent conditions of inequity and precarity. We also use post-pandemic as an opportunity to imagine new forms of politics, community, solidarity, and action.

Early career scholars, activists, artists, and journalists will reflect on the crucial role of communication in this moment of rupture and offer the following questions as a provocation for participants: What can the critical study of global communication – in all its expansiveness and imaginative force – offer us in a moment when uncertainty, insecurity, and risk have saturated hegemonic imaginations of the global? How might these times, which have both exacerbated and highlighted marginalization and oppression across global Norths and Souths and along lines of race, class, gender, and other axes of identity, move us towards justice and anti-oppression? What other ways of coming together, collective action, and organizing have been brought to the forefront of dominant imaginations, and what ways of being and living remain possible outside their ambit?


The first day, April 8, will include five panel discussions around the themes of infrastructures of the south, leadership and rhetoric, media and platforms regulation, solidarity and the pandemic, and art and humor. The second day, April 9, will include a keynote conversation featuring Karma Chavez of the University of Texas Austin . Both will be open to the public. The event will take place virtually, check back for final schedule and registration details.


April 8
April 9