February 8, 2021 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Dr. Anisha Datta, Associate Professor of Sociology, will be part of the online panel “Culture Shock! The Impact of Pandemics” which will bring together local historians, medical professionals and cultural experts in Heritage Fair 2021. It is presented by the London Heritage Council with support from the City of London’s Culture Office and will be held virtually on February 11, 2021.

Dr. Datta will discuss how the current pandemic exacerbates the existing social inequalities within society.

Dr. Datta's research shows what was learned from the global community's experience with the SARS outbreak. Growth-driven everyday lifestyle, destruction of wetlands, rapid urbanization, unsustainable industrial livestock farming, and neoliberal cuts to public services such as healthcare created fertile grounds for the deadly phenomenon of species jumping. “All this should make us understand that a global pandemic has to be fought at a collective societal level,” she says.

As a civic sociologist, whose primary task is to generate public conversations and debates on key issues of everyday social life, ethos and justice, Dr. Datta says the panel discussion is “a perfect platform for generating community level dialogues on matters of everyday challenges, inequities and injustices related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Each panelist will present their research and answer questions about pandemics’ cultural impacts.

The panel will be moderated by Megan Stacey of the London Free Press and will also include:

  • Hilary Bates Neary, local historian
  • David Marskell, CEO, THEMUSEUM
  • Dr. Vivian McAlister, Surgeon, University Hospital London, Professor, Surgery, Western University
  • Dr. Shelley McKellar, Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry & Professor, History, Western University
  • Dr. Jonathan Vance, Professor and Undergraduate Chair, History, Western University

Attendees of the event will be presented with a discussion of the impact of previous pandemics and the ways COVID-19 is exposing inequalities and driving innovation. In addition to the devastating loss of life caused by pandemics, they also often reveal the social inequities present in society, including culture and arts for current and future generations.

Londoners will have the opportunity to engage with the community and ask panelists their pandemic-related questions.

Dr. David Malloy, King’s Principal, is looking forward to attending the virtual panel as Dr. Datta’s guest. “I would encourage everyone to seek out opportunities like Heritage Fair and this virtual panel, to discover ways in which we can learn from the past to improve our present and chart a clearer course for the future,” says Dr. Malloy.

“When we gain useful knowledge and feel we are connected to others – we realize that we are not alone in this difficult time, and this realization can go a long way to ignite our collective spirit to fight this pandemic,” says Dr. Datta.

Learn more at https://www.londonheritage.ca/heritagefair.