Language & Thought
The language of the pandemic surrounds us. This theme asked students to look into the metaphors that predominate the global dialogue. How has the language of war—“We’re battling/combatting/fighting the virus"—affected how we understand the pandemic? How has rhetoric been used to create racial and global tensions? Students considered new expressions such as “shelter-in-place” and “social distancing” and compared it to the language used in past pandemics as well as considering how different languages and cultures talk about Covid-19. Students were encouraged to explore how language can be a powerful tool in this time of crisis.