Contributions from 25 globally recognised critical thinkers and artists are included in the latest volume of the Los Angeles Review of Books, an idea conceived and curated by University of Bath Professor Brad Evans to help readers make sense of the current crisis.

Essays for ‘The Quarantine Files’, have been contributed by thinkers such as Henry Giroux, American-Canadian scholar and cultural critic, and Camille Dungy, American Professor and Poet, reflecting on the US state of emergency and the politics of pandemics.

Other essays include those from Simona Forti, Italian philosopher and academic, reflecting from her native Turin on what lockdown has meant in Italy and Russell Brand, on the inequalities the crisis perpetuates, including here in the UK.

Professor Brad Evans, whose own contribution to the volume considers the political and social implications fear creates, explains: “Three weeks ago, I was sitting in front of my computer at home trying to finish an essay on educating children. But I was unable to concentrate. A broadcaster with a notably concerned expression was reporting on the spread of the coronavirus, which was now advancing across mainland Europe. It was no longer a 'Chinese problem', which many had hoped to keep at a 'safe distance'. Its effects were becoming a global issue.

“As the days passed, any concept of time I had was replaced by the rising tide of casualty statistics. I watched as the anxiety and concern spread almost as quickly as the virus itself. I kept thinking about 'domino' and 'butterfly effects' and how radically interconnected we truly were.

“This latest volume for the LA Review of Books was conceived to articulate the many emotions all of us feel at the moment and to start to begin to make sense of the crisis. I’m grateful to all contributors to this volume and hope their words help spark conversations on how we can all move forward; conversations which will no doubt continue in the years to come.”

Minerva Virtual Series

Professor Evans will also convene an upcoming Virtual Minerva Series Lecture for the University, considering the social and political implications of the virus for the UK and wider world.

The Quarantine Files