The Institute for Historical Studies will be introducing a new podcast series for 2021. The podcasts will be hosted by the Director of the Institute, Dr. Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra.
The first podcast previews a roundtable discussion that will be held on Monday, August 30 at 12 pm. It features Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, Sean F. McEnroe (Southern Oregon University), Stephan Palmie (University of Chicago), and J. Brent Crosson (UT Austin). More information on the roundtable can be found here.
This podcast reflects on the current politicization of COVID (masks and vaccination). The conversation avoids the patronizing dualism pitting a liberal party of science against a “superstitious” reactionary right wing libertarian movement. Our guests take on this duality by exploring the contributions of Anthropology of Belief and the Sociology of Knowledge. These literatures have shown that there is really not such a thing as a conflict between “science and ignorance” or “belief and doubt”. There is a struggle over whose rationality matters. The conversation explores the centrality of “propaganda” and institutional authority in the transformation of knowledge into science. Anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers have also mobilized science to make their case. Moreover, conspiracy theories are often more than creatures of feverish imaginations. Sometimes they do point to the abuses of pharmaceuticals and scientific institutions (the Tuskegee experiment). How to end the current politicization of the science of COVID? Our guests offer ethical and political guidelines for both the agnostics and the believers.