The Director's Series 2020/21 Law and Humanities in a Pandemic

Introduction to the Series

The COVID-19 pandemic already has had a vast array of legal implications which have dramatically altered daily life. While liberal, universal rights such as liberty and privacy are being radically curtailed in the name of public health, legal responses impact upon populations in radically unequal ways. These dimensions include - but certainly are not limited to - race, gender, disability, vulnerability and social class. Legal interventions are consistently justified on the basis of science, which is assumed to be unequivocal and beyond debate. At the same time, resistance to legal action is also apparent, as rumours and conspiracy theories - like the virus itself - multiply around the globe. At the same time as public policy measures are introduced, systems of legal regulation and compliance (which were often themselves justified on the basis of public protection) are modified or suspended in the name of necessity, with no indication as to when or how they will be restored.
Moreover, the relationship between law and discretion has been reshaped, and this in turn has impacted upon individuals and communities.

This series of monthly remote workshops organised on the Zoom platform by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies during the 2020-21 academic year seeks to ‘make sense’ of the wide ranging relationship between law and the pandemic through the insights of the humanities, broadly understood as the set of cultural influences which are shaping the use of law and the responses to it. Authors will present their work in progress for twenty minutes, followed by questions from the audience and discussion. The intention is to publish the papers following the completion of the series.

Download introduction to the series and full programme of events

To book an event click here for more details


Wednesday, 21 st October 2020, 1700 BST 
Capitalism, Commodification, and Coronavirus
Public Interest or Social Need? Reflections on the Pandemic, Technology and the Law
Dimitrios Kivotidis, University of East London
At War with Themselves: The Conflict at the Heart of the Coronavirus Pandemic
David M Seymour, City, University of London
Friday, 13 th November 2020, 1200 GMT 
Life, Death and Health During the Pandemic
Death, Burials and Funerals: Grieving in the Shadow of Covid-19 
Hui Yun Chan, University of Huddersfield
The Politics of COVID-19: Reshaping Healthcare Law and Policy in the UK
Sabrina Germain, City, University of London
Counting the Dead During a Pandemic
Marc Trabsky, La Trobe University
Tuesday, 8 th December 2020, 1200 GMT
Movement, Security And Lockdown
Penal System and Biopolitics in the time of Covid-19 Pandemic: An Indonesian Experience
Harison Citrawan, Ministry of Law & Human Rights, Republic of Indonesia
Sabrina Nadilla, Ministry of Law & Human Rights, Republic of Indonesia
Walls and Bridges: Metaphors of Movement and Constraint in Legal Responses to COVID-19
David Gurnham, University of Southampton
Security and the Pandemic: A View from Hong Kong
Marco Wan, University of Hong Kong
Thursday, 21 st January 2021, 1500 GMT
The Local Meets The Global: National Responses to the Pandemic
Nationalising a National Emergency: The Manx Response to the Pandemic
Peter Edge, Oxford Brookes University
Prospects for Recovery in Brazil: Deweyan Democracy, the Legacy of Fernando Cardoso and the Obstruction of Jair Bolsonaro
Frederic R Kellogg, Federal University of Pernambuco, George Washington University, & School of Law of Damas
George Browne Rego, Federal University of Pernambuco & School of Law of Damas Pedro Spindola, Law School of Catholic Immaculate Conception of Recife
Pandemic and Mandate Shifting: Central-Local Government Tensions in the Making of COVID-19 Legal Frameworks in Indonesia
Justitia Avila Veda, Universitas Indonesia
Geger Riyanto, Heidelberg University
Wednesday, 17 th February 2021, 1200 GMT
Pandemic Planning, Models And Regimes Of The Body
Masking Then and Masking Now: Compliance and Resistance during the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic
David Carter, University of Technology Sydney
Mark De Vitis, University of Sydney
Models and Lawmaking: Knowledge, Trust and Authority in a Pandemic
Ting Xu, University of Essex
Tuesday, 16 th March 2021, 1700 GMT
(Re)Imagining the Human Condition through Covid-19
Covid-19 and the Legal Regulation of Working Families
Nicole Busby, University of Glasgow
Grace James, University of Reading
Playing with Wench Tactics: Thinking about Rhythm, Routine and Rest in Decelerating University Life after the Pandemic
Ruth Fletcher, Queen Mary University of London
Law, Every Day Spaces and Objects, and Being Human
Jill Marshall, Royal Holloway, University of London
Wednesday, 21 st April 2021, 1500 BST
Gendering the Pandemic
Women, Violence and Protest in Times of COVID-19
Kim Barker, The Open University
Olga Jurasz, The Open University
Bahraini Family Laws During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Questioning the Re-emergence of Gendered and Sectarian Identities
Fatema Hubail, Georgetown University in Qatar
Law’s Invisible Women: The Unintended Gendered Consequences of the COVID-19 Lockdown
Lynsey Mitchell, University of Abertay
Michelle Weldon-Johns, University of Abertay
Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 1800 GMT
The Margins and the (Epi)Centres: Place, Space and the Pandemic
Ethical Limits of Pandemic Governance: International Refugee and Human RIghts Law Redefined?
Nergis Canefe, York University
Pandemic, Humanities and the Legal Imagination of the Disaster
Valerio Nitrato Izzo, University of Naples Frederico II
The Pandemic and the Ship
Renisa Mawani, University of British Columbia
Mikki Stelder, University of British Columbia & University of Amsterdam
Page last updated: 24th November 2020