Questioning Authority and Authoritative Questions: The Scientistic Politics of COVID Campus Health Knowledges

Myc Wiatrowski (Indiana University)

As the COVID-19 pandemic grew through 2020 and 2021, global policymakers worked to contain and counteract the disease, introducing government-directed interventions such as lockdowns, social distancing, and virtual education. When it became apparent that these approaches were untenable long-term, many government institutions began to plan for returning to some level of "normalcy" by mid-2021, a process that introduced new policy interventions informed by contemporary medical and political rhetorics—notably mask and vaccine mandates. This paper explores the folk appropriation of these scientific and political narratives in institutionalized spaces as a way of negotiating and performing identity, place, and community.

Part of 02-10 Folklore and Governmental Rhetorics , Thursday, November 02, 10:30 am–12:30 pm