Rewrite the Covid Narrative

Rewrite the Covid Narrative

We are a group of students at the University of Vienna in the master’s programmes in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures and in Teacher Training.

We designed this website in the context of a course entitled “Knowledge and Communication: Cultural Studies in Practice”. Based on theoretical discussions about the construction and communication of scientific concepts, we conducted research on how five different newspapers in the UK have represented the pandemic and communicated (medical) knowledge in the course of last year. With a particular focus on patterns of representation and (in)visibilities, we discussed possible effects of media communication on minoritized ethnic groups. Having looked through numerous articles describing the effects of the pandemic on these groups, we have learned a lot about the above issues. It occurred to us that these insights might also be interesting to others. In short, what and how knowledge about COVID-19 is communicated matters. The current COVID-19 narrative appears to include many misconceptions that discriminate against minoritized groups. By launching this website, we therefore want to share insights, engage in rewriting the COVID-19 narrative and encourage you to join us.

Since we are not part of an ethnic minority, the phenomena we describe and the advice we give are not based on our personal experience but on the research we have conducted. We certainly do not have the intention of speaking for any community we do not belong to, however, we felt that it is our responsibility, as students of cultural studies, to raise awareness about inequalities amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage people to critically assess public information and to act on their knowledge.

Our team consists of Franziska Maria Holzmann, Germaine Rohleder, Helene Huber, Ines Munker, Iva Marija Bulic, Lisa Kaiser, Lukas Bauer, Margarita Kondratiuk, Marlies Renner, and Sylvia Huber. This project would also not have been possible without the valuable advice from Univ.-Prof. Dr. Monika Pietrzak-Franger who helped us structure our thoughts and brought us together as a group.

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