In the wake of the current global pandemic we have increasingly come to understand research on “Contagion” as extending across wide disciplinary perimeters. From the obviously crucial fields of epidemiology, virology, bio-statistics, and public health, our understanding of contagion is aided by social science and humanities disciplines: sociology, history, anthropology, medical humanities, rhetoric, political science, supply chain management, governance, mathematics, art, architectural design, literatures from a range of languages, folklore, science fiction, media studies, journalism, international affairs, law, educational policy and leadership, diplomacy and policy studies, to name the most obvious.
The IAS hosted this 2 1/2-day ( virtual) workshop during which interdisciplinary scholars from the IUB community engaged the epistemological, methodological, and conceptual challenges that attend research (theoretical or applied) on contagion. A common, interdisciplinary bibliography, crafted by participants, constitute the cross-disciplinary “intellectual reserves” held in common by members of the symposium. At the workshop, each member presented some kind of evidentiary artifact (a text, a data set, a model, a case study, an anecdote, an image) relevant to the question at hand. These presentations were followed by a broad conversation about the artifact presented and the question or problem it poses.
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Visibility, Virality, and Immunity: Mitigating the Contagion of Colorism, Radhika Parameswaran, Herman B Wells Endowed Professor of Journalism, The Media School
Spatial clustering of non-vaccination effects on outbreak potential, Ana Bento, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Biostastics, School of Public Health
Wrap-Up Discussion Session
Where Do We Go From Here? (This session will be conducted via Zoom Meeting.), facilitated by Patricia Ingham
TBS Contagion Cohort
Yong-Yeol (YY) Ahn is an Associate Professor at Indiana University School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering and a Visiting Professor at MIT. Before joining Indiana University, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Complex Network Research at Northeastern University and as a visiting researcher at the Center for Cancer Systems Biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute after earning his PhD in Statistical Physics from KAIST in 2008. His research spans Network Science, Data Science, and Computational Social Science. He develops mathematical & computational models and applies them to investigate questions from various domains such as sociology, health, economics, and culture. He is a recipient of several awards including Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship and LinkedIn Economic Graph Challenge.
John Bryden's background is in the intersection between Mathematical Biology and Computational Social Science. He recently became the Executive Director and Senior Research Scientist at the Observatory on Social Media at IU, where they study diffusion processes of information and misinformation on social media. They treat contagion as a set of processes on a network, which can be modelled using mathematical and computational tools. He has extensive experience working with social media data with my work studying language patterns on Twitter. Cultural transmission and psychological processes on networks are an important direction for me.
At the Observatory, his team are developing plans to study the diffusion networks of COVID-19 transmission, and COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation.
Ilana Gershon is the Ruth N. Halls professor of anthropology at Indiana University. She has conducted fieldwork in New Zealand and the United States with Samoan migrants. She has also written about Maori members of the NZ parliament as well as US corporate practices of hiring and US college students’ uses of new media when breaking up. She is currently involved in a project tentatively titled The Social Life of Pandemic Contracts, in which she explores what the pandemic reveals about how workplaces function as sites of private government. Her research has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation and fellowships at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and Notre Dame’s Institute of Advanced Study.
Matthew Josefy is an assistant professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. His research examines how strategic leaders attract and manage resources, particularly human capital, interface with firm stakeholders and are affected by corporate governance. His work has been published in leading management journals including Academy of Management Annals, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Journal of Business Ethics, and Journal of Business Venturing. Presently, he teaches strategic management to juniors in the Kelley Honors Integrated Core, drawing on both his research and his professional experience in the financial sector in London and Hong Kong. He completed his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, and is both a C.P.A. and a C.F.A. charterholder.
Emerson Melo is assistant professor at the Department of Economics at Indiana University Bloomington. He received his PhD in Social Sciences, from California Institute of Technology, June 2013. His research interest are Game Theory, Microeconomic theory, Economic and Social Networks, and Applied Econometrics. From 2013-2015, did his Postdoc at the Cornell Theory of Computation group and the Center for the Interface of Networks, Computing, and Economics (CINCE).
Radhika Parameswaran is Herman B Wells Endowed Professor (Class of 1950) in the Media School. She served as Chair of the Journalism department in the Media School from 2015 to 2019. Her research and teaching areas span feminist cultural studies, globalization and media, postcolonial media studies, South Asia, and qualitative research methods. Her major publications include a 2013 Wiley-Blackwell edited encyclopedic volume on global audience studies, two monographs in Journalism & Communication Monographs, 30 articles in leading journals in media and communication studies (five reprinted as book chapters), and fifteen original book chapters. She is a recipient of the International Communication Association’s Teresa Award for outstanding feminist scholarship and a two-time recipient of the Journalism department’s Gretchen Kemp Award for outstanding teaching. She served as editor of Communication, Culture and Critique, an official journal of the International Communication Association, from 2014 to 2016. Her current research projects are engaged with transnational media campaigns against colorism, Indian Americans as news workers, and gender and online comedy.
Gabriel A. Peoples is an Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington whose research can be located at the nexus of Performance, Gender, and Africana Studies. Currently, he is completing a manuscript, Goin’ Viral: Uncontrollable Black Performance, that examines the rewards and risks of “viral performance”—rapidly ubiquitous visual and sonic engagements with Blackness in popular culture and everyday life, which are packaged as images, films, and viral videos for mass consumption. Goin' Viral argues that while this Black virality supports commonsense ideologies about Black bodies, it also creates paths of alterity where Blackness is challenged and its histories renegotiated. Peoples’ writing appears in the Lexington Press anthology Pan African Spaces: Essays on Black Transnationalism and is forthcoming in Women and Performance and Frontiers A Journal of Women Studies special issue on African American Performance. He has presented research at refereed conferences such as the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA), the American Studies Association (ASA), and the Association for the Study of African American Life & History (ASALH). His research has been supported by a Gender Studies fellowship from Indiana University, Northwestern University’s Institute in Performance Studies, Black Performance Theory—SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology at Duke University, and the Summer Institute on Tenure and Professional Advancement at Duke University. His broader interests include Black performance theory, visual culture, Sound Studies, Black masculinity, American Studies and HIV prevention.
Armando Razo researches how informal and formal institutions affect economic behavior in developing countries. His research includes the development of mathematical and computational models to develop theories on the impact of social and political networks on economic outcomes. He also applies statistical network analysis to the study of economic history and international development. He served on the Founding Scientific Leadership Team that helped establish the Indiana University Network Science Institute (http://iuni.iu.edu). His teaching includes courses on Networks and institutions, Quantitative contextual analysis, Political economy of development, Latin American politics, and Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE).
Jutta Schickore is Ruth Halls Professor of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine at Indiana University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Hamburg, Germany, in 1996. She held a Wellcome Research Fellowship at the at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science in Cambridge, UK as well as postdoctoral fellowships at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at M.I.T. and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin). She has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ, 2007-2008 and 2017-2018) and of the National Humanities Center (Research Triangle Park, NC, 2011). Her research interests include philosophical and scientific debates about scientific methods in past and present, particularly about (non)replicability, failure, error, and negative results; historical and philosophical aspects of microscopy; and the relation between history and philosophy of science. Schickore’s publications include About Method. Experimenters, Snake Venom, and the History of Writing Scientifically, (Chicago UP 2017) and The Microscope and the Eye: A History of Reflections, 1740–1870, (Chicago UP 2007); the collected volumes Going Amiss in Experimental Research (co-edited with G. Hon and F. Steinle), (Springer 2009) and Revisiting Discovery and Justification: The Context Distinction in Historical and Philosophical Perspective (co-edited with F. Steinle), Springer (Springer 2006); as well as articles in history and philosophy of science journals.
Esi Thompson is an assistant Professor with the Media School at Indiana University. Her research has focused on health risk and crisis communication primarily in West Africa (Ghana and Liberia) and more recently in the U.S. Three questions have guided her research:1) how people make sense of disease outbreaks and their risks? 2) how the media impede or facilitate understandings of disease outbreaks and building resilience, and 3) how communication relates to and influences disease risk as perceived by various individual, systemic, and institutional actors. These questions have guided her research about the West African Ebola outbreak, the 2014 cholera outbreak in Ghana and recently, the Covid-19 outbreaks in Ghana and the US. In The Media School, she teaches courses in the Public relations including the capstone campaigns course and the research and planning course. Prior to joining The Media School, she taught various communication and public relations courses at University of Oregon and University of Ghana, Legon. She serves on the editorial board of Africa Today journal. She was previously a communication consultant in Ghana and served various clients including UNICEF Ghana, Anglogold Ashanti, The Ghana Food and Drugs Administration, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and The Ministry of Health.
Peter M. Todd grew up in Silicon Valley, studied at Oberlin College and Cambridge University, and earned a PhD in cognitive psychology at Stanford University. In 1995 he moved to Germany to help found the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition (ABC), based at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. The Center's research on decision making was captured in the books Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart (Oxford, 1999) and Ecological Rationality: Intelligence in the World (Oxford, 2012). He returned to the U.S. in 2005 to set up the ABC-West lab at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he is currently Provost Professor of Cognitive Science, Psychology, and Informatics and Director of the Cognitive Science Program. He was the co-founding Director of the IU Food Institute. He has taught several courses on food psychology and choice at Indiana University and the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy.
Johannes Türk is Associate Professor of Germanic Studies and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Literature. His first book, entitled Die Immunität der Literatur (The Immunity of Literature) investigates the history of immunity from Greek Antiquity to the emergence of immunology in the 19th century and unfolds how the knowledge about immunity became a central, yet widely overlooked paradigm to define the purpose of literary forms in works ranging from Schiller to Proust. Johannes has also published articles on Freud, Kafka, Thomas Mann, Montaigne, Proust, Carl Schmitt, as well as on the history of immunology. He is currently working on two book-length projects: The first researches the relationship between sovereignty and exemption. It is based on the assumption that the ability to exempt individuals and collectives is central to political power. An important part of this relationship is the immunization against infectious disease. This ability of the sovereign appears for example in the figure of the king as thaumaturge who is able to heal scrofula; but also in modified forms in the biopolitical age, in which immunization becomes a central feature securing global trade, travel, and communication. The second project explores the culture of insult as a central and quite complex form in which political legitimacy is negotiated. Wrath, anger and other effects that play a crucial role in motivating and making plausible political action in modern times are all triggered by insults as complex historical events.
Kurt Zemlicka is a lecturer in the Department of English and a member of the Communication and Public Advocacy Program at Indiana University. He studies public controversies over scientific research, the rhetoric of science, and the role of the humanities in shaping public advocacy regarding scientific research and science-based policies. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and specializes in post-structuralist rhetorical theory, deconstruction, and psychoanalysis.