An Additional Year (?)
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The FMS project that I'm currently employed in has secured additional funding in a coronavirus program. It's just 120,000 Euros, which will cover the salaries for a PhD student and myself for a year. Here's (parts of) the description:

The proposed project is an additional module in the research project "Fiction Meets Science," which explores the complex interrelations between science and society through cultural forms of representation. In recent weeks and months, the various ways of (ab)using scientific expertise in society, the diverse challenges of communicating research results, and the manifold connections and influences between science and other aspects of social life have become particularly visible.

The additional module will focus on cultural engagements with the COVID-19 outbreak. Indeed, cultural forms of expression not only react to, but also (co-)produce the current crisis. Along these lines, we will conceive of the pandemic as a nascent event shaped through various forms of cultural representation and performance across different media. In particular, we will focus on three forms of cultural engagement: (1) (re-)reception of earlier pandemic narratives (Mary Shelley's The Last Man, Katherine Anne Porter's Pale Horse, Pale Rider, and the numerous outbreak films, from Outbreak to Contagion), (2) the iconization of scientists (in particular virologists and epidemiologists) through stereotyping, and (3) memeification--of both pandemic fictions and representations of scientists.

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