McGill’s Culture, Mind, and Brain and Global Mental Health programs jointly sponsored an online roundtable discussion on Thursday, May 21st, which was hosted by CMB program co-director Samuel Veissière.

According to Sam, this is the first in a series of events dedicated to critical perspectives on “the new normal. . . In trying to make sense of this crisis, many many voices are needed and particularly voices from those communities that are most impacted by rising in equalities and health and economic disparities exacerbated by the pandemic.”

In his opening remarks, Sam particularly emphasized how the disease accentuates several pre-existing ecological co-morbidities, citing the high death rates in elder care facilities and prisons (which have elsewhere been likened to “stationary cruise ships), and other marginalized communities.

The video is embedded below and available here.


2:00 Samuel Veissière (Cognitive and Cultural Anthropology, CMB Program, McGill): Introductory remarks on the “infodemic,” the role of the Internet, and pre-existing social pathologies

2:15 Cécile Rousseau (Cultural Psychiatry, McGill): Symptoms – Virtue – War

2:30 Stefan Ecks (Social Anthropology, Edinburgh): The importance of social science in pandemic epidemiology

2:45 Robert Dingwall (Sociology, Nottingham Trent): The three social pandemics: Fear, explanation, and action

3:15 Samuele Collu (Social and Cultural Anthropology, McGill): The zoomification of everyday life

3:30 Vincent Laliberté (Psychiatry and Anthropology, McGill / Jewish General Hospital): The mental health consequences of social isolation

3:45 Daniel Frank (Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital): Some psychoanalytic reflections on the plague and its impact

4:00 Laurence Kirmayer (Cultural Psychiatry, CMB Program, McGill / Jewish General Hospital): Science and sanity: Social epistemology in the time of pandemic

4:15 Elizaveta Solomonova (Psychiatry and Philosophy, McGill): Discussants’ concluding remarks and Q&A moderation