Creative Resilience and COVID-19 : Figuring the Everyday in a Pandemic book cover
1st Edition

Creative Resilience and COVID-19
Figuring the Everyday in a Pandemic

ISBN 9781032100814
Published March 21, 2022 by Routledge
252 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Creative Resilience and COVID-19 examines arts, culture, and everyday life as a way of navigating through and past COVID-19. Drawing together the voices of international experts and emerging scholars, this volume explores themes of creativity and resilience in relation to the crisis, trauma, cultural alterity, and social change wrought by the pandemic.

The cultural, social, and political concerns that have arisen due to COVID-19 are inextricably intertwined with the ways the pandemic has been discussed, represented, and visualized in global media. The essays included in this volume are concerned with how artists, writers, and advocates uncover the hope, plasticity, and empowerment evident in periods of worldwide loss and struggle—factors which are critical to both overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and fashioning the post-COVID-19 era. Elaborating on concepts of the everyday and the outbreak narrative, Creative Resilience and COVID-19 explores diverse themes including coping with the crisis through digital distractions, diary writing, and sounds; the unequal vulnerabilities of gender, ethnicity, and age; the role of visuality and creativity including comics and community theatre; and the hopeful vision for the future through urban placemaking, nighttime sociability, and cinema.

The book fills an important scholarly gap, providing foundational knowledge from the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic through a consideration of the arts, humanities, and social sciences. In doing so, Creative Resilience and COVID-19 expands non-medical COVID-19 studies at the intersection of media and communication studies, cultural criticism, and the pandemic.

Table of Contents


Creative Resilience and COVID-19: Figuring the Everyday in a Pandemic

Irene Gammel and Jason Wang

Part 1: Crisis Space and Time

1. The Deadly Air We Breathe: How Infectious Illness Built the Modern City
Mitchell Hammond

2. "Why has the outbreak turned so deadly?" Diary from a Quarantined City
Irene Gammel and Jason Wang

3. Listening through a Pandemic: Silence, Noisemaking, and Music
David Cecchetto and Cameron MacDonald

4. Netflix and Chills: On Digital Distraction during the Global Lockdown
Dominic Pettman

Part 2: Vulnerability and Resilience

5. Killing Swiftly: The Effects of COVID-19 on the Experience of the Elderly
Geoffrey Scarre

6. "He’s thinking about sex, I’m thinking about survival": Women’s Sexual, Domestic, and Emotional Labor during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Breanne Fahs

7. "It’s like not a very Marshallese way of life": Marshallese Cultural Resilience during COVID-19
Ramey Moore, Pearl A. McElfish and Sheldon Riklon

8. Sweden, COVID-19 and Invisible Immigrants
Christian Christensen

Part 3: Memory, Visuality, and Creativity

9. Threshold Spaces: Visualizing COVID-19 and the Resilient Power of the City
Irene Gammel and Natalie Ilsley

10. How Drawing Can Help Us See One Another: From Graphic Medicine to Diary Comics
Emmy Waldman

11. Going Digital in a Small City Hub: Community Theater and Dog Performance Events during Lockdown
Karin Beeler and Stan Beeler

12. Becoming Host: Zooming in on the Pandemic Horror Film
Simon Turner and Stuart J. Murray

Part 4: Adaptation, Hope, and Social Change

13. Playing with the City: Leisure, Public Health, and Placemaking during COVID-19 and Beyond
Troy D. Glover

14. Rethinking the Spaces of Night-time Sociability
Will Straw

15. The End of Kino as We Know It? Reflecting on the Future of Cinemas in Germany and Beyond
Claudia Kotte

16. What COVID-19 Has Taught Academics: Historical Arguments for the Future of In-Person Teaching
Kai Bremer


Global Consciousness of COVID-19: Where Can We Go from Here?

J. Michael Ryan

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Irene Gammel is Professor of Art, Literature, and Culture and Director of the Modern Literature and Culture (MLC) Research Centre at Ryerson University, Canada. Her research focuses on gender and modernity in literary and visual culture. She is author of I Can Only Paint: The Story of Battlefield Artist Mary Riter Hamilton (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020), Looking for Anne of Green Gables: The Story of Lucy Maud Montgomery and Her Literary Classic (St. Martin’s Press, 2008) and Baroness Elsa: Gender, Dada, and Everyday Modernity (MIT Press, 2002). She is also co-editor of Florine Stettheimer: New Directions in Multimodal Modernism (Book*hug, 2019), Body Sweats: The Uncensored Writings of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (MIT Press, 2011) and Crystal Flowers: Poetry and a Libretto by Florine Stettheimer (Book*hug, 2010). She cohosts the MLC Pandemic Webinar Series, which explores the social, cultural, and creative dimensions of the COVID-19 crisis through arts, humanities, and social sciences research by a network of international scholars.

Jason Wang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre at Ryerson University, Canada. His research explores how modernist and contemporary literature and media encode power, politics, and social values. His doctoral dissertation, entitled "Urban Walking: Configuring the Modern City as Cultural and Spatial Practice," explored the aesthetics of spatial politics and the politics of spatial aesthetics in urban literature and culture from the early twentieth century to the post-industrial era. He has contributed chapters to Florine Stettheimer: New Directions in Multimodal Modernism (Book*hug, 2019) and Confluences 2: Essays on the New Canadian Literature (Mawenzi House, 2017) as well as the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. He also cohosts the MLC Pandemic Webinar Series.


'Irene Gammel and Jason Wang have put together an intellectual's guide to the COVID-19 pandemic's effects on our everyday lives. From labor struggles to "Netflix and chill," this edited volume explores how the pandemic rearranged everyday life, and it connects those changes to the medical, political, and social struggles that have defined this moment. Reading these essays, I remembered things from the pandemic that I had already forgotten, and I am glad to have this book as a way to keep that time with me.'

Daniel Worden, Associate Professor of Art, Rochester Institute of Technology, USA

'In this time of crisis, never had there been a better time to spotlight the cultures and practices of everyday life. The contributions to this wonderful book show in compelling and often heart-breaking ways just what it has been like to live with fear, grief and loss in pandemic conditions. But there is also an abundance of hope and meaning making emerging across these essays, captured in ways that invite the reader to enter into the worlds of people enduring these COVID times.'

Deborah Lupton, SHARP Professor in the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, Australia

'Creative Resilience and COVID-19 offers a vital record of these times, tracing how, amid the vast scale of a global pandemic, the patterns and details of daily life profoundly change. The collection’s scope stretches across continents and cultural mediums and draws on a rich set of creative responses—from music, theatre, film, photography, diaries, graphic memoirs, and social media, to architecture, city planning, and public life and health. The essays illuminate the overt and subtle shifts the pandemic has brought to individuals and communities, asking central questions about survival, resilience, and recovery. An invaluable, timely volume for the COVID era.'

Elizabeth Outka, Professor of English, University of Richmond. USA

'A thoughtful and timely book on the unprecedented non-medical effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the intersections of media and communication. This book raises important questions on the new veracities of life during the pandemic and helps us to understand present-day realities. The clarity of authors’ writings on various topics dealing with media and communication makes the book accessible to students, academics as well as anyone who would like to make sense of the impact of the pandemic on everyday life.'

Valerie Visanich, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Malta, Malta