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dateApril 29, 2020 timeWednesday, 11:30am EDT locationVirtual Event
  • Free and open to the public
  • No registration necessary
Painting of a blue-gloved fist raised in the air

"This virus does not respect borders.” - Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organisation Director-General

In an effort to contain the spread of virus, many countries have tightened or closed their borders. Some are rejecting globalisation and returning to the ideal of the nation state. Nationalism is on the rise. Informed by political decisions, multilateral action is falling out of favour in some quarters. There is a danger that mass fear and anxiety will be exploited by right-wing authoritarian and populist leaders.

The first in a five-part series, this workshop will explore how Covid-19 is changing how we think about nations and borders. Our speakers will discuss the pandemic in relation to US immigration law, border politics and international refugee policy. They will examine the crisis in the context of Irish/Northern Irish cross-border cooperation and British-Irish cooperation. The floor will then be open for participants to respond: to ask questions and to widen the conceptual and geographical parameters of the conversation.

Click here to hear a podcast recording of this event.

Susan McKay is a writer and journalist from Derry in Northern Ireland. She is currently writing a sequel to her book Northern Protestants - An Unsettled People, and working on Outside in the Navy Dark, a book about borders.

Sarah Stillman is the director of the Global Migration Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a staff writer at The New Yorker. Her work focuses on immigration and criminal justice issues.

Etain Tannam is Associate Professor International Peace Studies at Trinity College Dublin. She is currently writing a book on British-Irish Relations in the 21st Century due for publication with Oxford University Press in 2020.

Crises of Democracy curriculum.

Stillman, Sarah. 'When deportation is a death sentence.' New Yorker. January 8, 2018.

Pamuk, Orhan. 'What the Great Pandemic Novels Teach Us.' New York Times. April 23, 2020.

About the series
This is a special five-part series organised by the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute in partnership with the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

See full details of the series here