By all accounts 2020 has been the longest year in recent history. From the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic, to the widespread protests for racial justice kindled by the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, to the violent suppression of these protests, to the incessant months-long Twitter and media campaign by Donald Trump and Republican allies to invalidate the November presidential elections culminating in violent insurrection at the Capitol, to the record-breaking fires and hurricanes across the fragile globe—2020 has seemed to most everyone like the year that would never end.
But as long as the experience of living through this year has been, 2020 began long before the calendar changed on January 1. The catastrophes of 2020 have deep roots. They can be traced back to the European fascism of the 1930s; to past pandemics like the Spanish Flu of 1918; to the failed Reconstruction after the Civil War; to 1619 or 1492; the potential origins of the long 2020 are seemingly endless. Nor, despite fervent hopes, has the long 2020 ended. The consequences of this devastating year are sure to impact the planet for decades, if not centuries, to come.
In “The Long 2020,” C21 has invited a wide array of scholars and public intellectuals to think together about this seemingly endless year for a series of conversations and ultimately an edited volume to be published by the University of Minnesota Press. We have asked our contributors to consider the question of 2020 from the perspective of their own expertise, to focus either on the lived experience of this year or its long and deep roots in various human and nonhuman pasts or its transformation of post-2020 futures.
Spring 2021 Programming for “The Long 2020”
Friday, February 19 | Noon – 1:30 p.m. CST
Stacy Alaimo, Frédéric Keck, and Jennifer Gabrys
Tuesday, March 2 | 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. CST
Stefanie Fishel, Eben Kirksey, and Wai Chee Dimock
Friday, March 12 | 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. CST
Adia Benton and Jonathan Flatley
Friday, March 19 | 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. CST
Libby Anker, William Connolly, and Bonnie Honig
Friday, April 2 | 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. CST
Megan Craig and Levi Bryant
Thursday, April 8 | 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. CST
Roderick Ferguson and Rebecca Wanzo
Friday, April 16 | 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. CST
Nirmala Erevelles, Bernard Perley, and Tom Rademacher
Thursday, April 23 | 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. CST
Daniel Barber, Beatriz Colomina, David Gissen, and Stephen Gray