Thinking through the COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19 and Social sciences

It’s been several weeks since our daily lives were turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the catchphrase of the hour sounds optimistic, we are aware that the reality is infinitely more complex than this slogan suggests.

More than ever, we know how necessary it is to understand the ecological, economic and political origins of the current crisis, to identify its social and cultural ramifications, as well as its impact on our societies and environment.

We thought it would be relevant to draw up a list of articles from various human and social science disciplines related to current economic and social issues. The articles, all available in open access, will be presented to you successively in the coming weeks in through our Facebook and Twitter page.

We therefore invite you to follow us on these social networks, or to regularly consult this page where they are listed:

  • The challenges of distance learning

7.vidéoconférenceIn this article published in the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Hosam Al-Samarraie evaluates the different types of platforms and methods existing for videoconference teaching.

He also considers the learning opportunities they generate, but also the challenges they pose to members of the academic community:



  • Seniors and the crisis

Les ainés et la criseHow do seniors experience loneliness? In order to reflect on the realities affecting seniors living alone during the crisis, we are sharing with you this article by Laurie Kirouac and Michèle Charpentier, both professors at École de travail social – UQAM. They’re studying the issue of loneliness among seniors based on several testimonials.

An article from in Sociologie et sociétés:



  • Impact of Epidemic Influenza in Canada

Influenza in CanadaIn this article by Janice P. Dickin McGinnis, professor at University of Calgary, we invite you to read about the negative effects of the “Spanish” flu pandemic on the Canadian economy (mainly due to the mandatory closure of many businesses), but also some of its positive impacts.

An article published in Historical Papers/Communications historiques :




  • Attitudes towards epidemics

Attitude face aux épidemiesDenis Goulet and Othmar Keel, both professors at the University of Montreal, look back on the representations and attitudes of Quebec society towards major epidemics since the 19th century and study the concept of contagion. An article form the journal Anthropologie et Sociétés:





  • State responsibility and health crisis

Rôle de l'état dans les crises sanitairesIn this article published in the Revue de Droit de l’Université de Sherbrooke RDUS, Lara Khoury, professor at McGill University, studies the responsibility of the state in times of health crisis and the relevance of collective actions in the event of negligence towards its duties:





  • Loneliness and literary endeavour

Un article de Robert MelançonWhile for some of us it is a time to rest, for others it becomes a time when domestic space offers a world of possibilities. Away from social adornments, out of sight and suspended in time and space, we are free to create or embody almost whatever we want. In this perspective of creation in a time of isolation, we are pleased to share with you this article published in Revue Liberté, in which Robert Melançon reviews the poetry of Emily Dickinson, mostly written in a state of great solitude:



  • Migration and Quarantine

Migration et quarantaineDid you know that for more than a century, Grosse Île, anchored in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, served as a quarantine station for thousands of immigrants?

To learn all about this historic site marked by the great epidemics of the past centuries, read this article written by André Sévigny in 1992 for Cahiers des dix:




  • Women and the city in times of epidemic

Les Femmes et la ville en temps de pandémieMagda Fahrni, professor in history at Université du Québec à Montréal, studies heroic contribution of women during the time of the “Spanish flu” and the impact that the epidemic had on their relationship to the city.

Discover her research through her article « Elles sont partout… » Les femmes et la ville en temps d’épidémie, Montréal, 1918-1920 published in the Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française :