Speaking of Covid-19, Now and in the Future Thursday, June 25th Z-Panel | 3:00PM EDT

Main Article Content

Rita Charon
Margaret Crosby-Arnold


This event will take place as a public Zoom panel starting at 3:00 pm EDT. Please REGISTER HERE in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please email disability@columbia.edu to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.

Event Video:

Rita Charon, Educating for Ethics in the Time of Covid

This presentation will begin by summarizing  the complex ethical training necessary to provide to clinicians and student-clinicians in the time of Covid. Topics to be itemized include confidentiality, patient dignity, personal safety, moral distress, and fairness in triage decisions.  Within this vast territory, specific issues for students will be emphasized in this presentation: How can students early in training process their own experiences in the pandemic? How can they learn—and what do they learn—from living through the pandemic? What are the ethical boundaries around an author’s right to publish “reflections” that describe particular patients or that collapse several patients into a “fictional” one?

Margaret Crosby-Arnold, Toward New Age Poleis:  Faith and Peace of Peacefully Moving On

Despite repeated alterations across Modern History (1775-2019), the modern republic — the brainchild of the Modern Revolutionary Era (1775-1848) — is a polis that from its inception seems never to have been able to live up to its promises to humanity.  In large measure, this is because it drew a distinction between a human and a person and its ‘inclusive’ notion of ‘the people’ was restricted to ‘persons.’  It isn’t so much that the ‘promises’ of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness or liberty, equality and fraternity were almost immediately betrayed, both willfully and unwittingly, but, rather that these poleis were themselves reactionary reactions against the migration, social mobility and diversity that characterized late-early-modern globalization.  These modern poleis are not suffering from dysfunctions that can be fixed, but are, in fact, functioning, fully, according to exclusive design.  For this reason, alterations toward greater equality and inclusion have proven, consistently, to be short-term appeasements and expedients that lull human opposition for the buying of time and, therefore, facilitate the adaptation and reconstitution of exclusivity.

Accordingly, this paper will be in three parts.  The first section will offer a historical analysis of what is discussed above.  The second will suggest that the recent crisis have catapulted us out of a now past epoch into a New Age and that, as scary and formidable as this may seem, that is offers an opportunity for sustainable liberation from the failings of the modern poleis and a chance to form just poleis, capable of securing and sustaining life, liberty, safety, pursuit of happiness and fraternity the humankind that make-up a given polis.  Paradoxically, the crisis of 2020 have left us as free as the founders of modernity once were to comb the histories of bygone ages — including the Modern one — and pick and choose what to throw-off and what to retain in altered form.  Finally, as a result of this great catapulting, our choices are no longer the binary of “to alter” or “abolish,” but rather we can envision, define and strategically effect a course of transition to New Age Poleis.  Rather than committing more time to attempting to make a Diesel engine run on regular unleaded fuel, we may want to begin thinking about a more human environmentally friendly vessel that wants to carry us all.


Recommended Reading:

Margaret Crosby-Arnold, "A case of hidden genocide? Disintegration and destructon of people of color in Napoleonic Europe, 1799-1815." https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14788810.2017.1330499. This article is one of four chosen to represent Atlantic Studies: Global Currents on a new website, "Scholarship Supporting hte Fight Against Racism and Inequality," created by the publisher Taylor & Francis. Congratulations to the author on this honor!

Article Details

How to Cite
Charon, R. ., & Crosby-Arnold, M. . (2020). Speaking of Covid-19, Now and in the Future: Thursday, June 25th Z-Panel | 3:00PM EDT. Care for the Polis. Retrieved from https://journals.library.columbia.edu/index.php/careforpolis/article/view/6405