The Pandemicene Project: Re-Worlding Toward Justice

How do we create knowledge that orients us towards justice at this critical historical juncture, in the middle of a viral pandemic, and a pandemic of social inequality and racial discrimination that has sparked global unrest? The Pandemicene Project, as announced, begins from the premise that creating trust-worthy knowledge that can foster a more just world requires attending to both COVID-19 pandemic and the deep inequalities and fissures in the polity that this pandemic has laid bare. It also requires attending both to what is going on locally (e.g., from the shelter-in-place locations of our students), while drawing on the power and insights of global networks. In this project, UCSC faculty, graduate students and undergraduates will work together to interview members of their communities and the Science and Justice network about scholarly and activist responses to this critical historical moment.  The project will produce a podcast series for our local radio station (KZSC), and expand the blog series on the SJRC website. Ultimately, through engaging our communities—both locally and globally—we aim to produce knowledge that can help all of us – scholars and scientists, students and activists – imagine and enact just futures both in our home state of California and in our communities worldwide.

The SJRC has a robust network of local and international public health experts, scholars, and practitioners leading the way with collecting resources for teaching about COVID-19, writing open response lettersdeveloping news items, and calls to action, and organizing and participating in online events.

The SJRC will focus current research projects on the following emerging areas in the context of COVID-19:

  • Re-Worlding: Living and Learning Alone Together in the Pandemicene
  • Community, Civil Society and Social Justice Responses to COVID-19
  • Just Biomedicine in an Age of COVID-19:  How Can Researchers (Public Health, Genomics, Virologists, Bioethicists) Collaborate in New Ways?
  • The Challenges of Knowing and Responding in the Age of No Data and Mis-information
  • The Crisis of Public Health in Infrastructures of Care and Incarceration

Read more on these developing areas of concern in the campus news article, “Discrimination, governance, and trust in the age of COVID-19”, featuring SJRC Founding Director Jenny Reardon; in the special issue of Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers featuring S&J Advisor and Politics Professor Matt Sparke’s article, “Contextualizing Coronavirus Geographically,” provides additional articles and perspectives on the pandemic; and in the Daily Beast Interview, featuring James Doucet-Battle, assistant professor of sociology and interim director of SJRC on the glaring race problems COVID-19 vaccine trials have.

If you would like to take part in or contribute to this project, email Jenny Reardon ( and/or Colleen Stone (


Jenny Reardon (Sociology)

Graduate Researchers

Dennis Browe (Sociology)

Paloma Medina (Biomolecular Engineering)

Lucia Vitale (Politics)

Undergraduate Researchers

Kathia Damian (Literature)

Gina Barba (Community Studies)

Isa Ansari (Sociology)

Maryam Nazir (Philosophy)

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