Revaluing Care in the Times of Covid-19

A series of podcasts focused on the changing relations of care during the current pandemic

Transgender Care During Covid

Part of ongoing series of workshops on re-valuing care in the time of covid19.

Special: Interview with ZHIZHU (Wuhan Mutual Aid Practitioner and Vlogger)

***Special episode: A focused interview by Yanping Ni with ZHIZHI - a Wuhan mutual aid practitioner and vlogger***

ZHI ZHU is an independent filmmaker and a well-known vlogger, whose works have been well received on various Chinese social media platforms, including Sina Weibo and Bilibili. As a Wuhan native, he participated in the local mutual aid societies during the quarantine period. He was a driver offering rides to healthcare workers. He was a carrier sending medical supplies and food around the city to people in need. In addition, with his camera, he has revealed untold narratives of mutual aid societies, healthcare workers, and ordinary people. By presenting the real situations to people outside the quarantine, his vlogs successfully dispeled endless rumors about Wuhan. His series of vlogs entitled “Wuhan Quarantine Diary” has become one of the most informative and powerful testimony of that exceptional policy. (Click here to check out his fascinating vlogs!)

If you would like to further explore the topics of mutual aid, please refer to our podcast entitled “Mutual Aid around the World,” which features scholars and activists from Italy, China, and Argentina, and aims to reflect upon new forms of care from a global perspective.

Please note: the original interview was conducted in Chinese mandarin language. For the English translation of the interview transcript, please see this document.

Defunding the Police

In this time of global pandemic, the expression “I can’t breathe” carries a dual meaning: it is both a tell-tale symptom of COVID-19, and a now-familiar mantra of the Black Lives Matter movement, echoing the final words of Eric Garner and George Floyd. This seminar is dedicated to an organic, accessible, and robust discussion of why the social justice initiative to “Defund the Police” is possible, necessary, and desirable. What does it mean (and what would it look like) to defund the police, and how does the current discourse track in academic vs. non-academic spaces? Who is this movement for—and who among us are still unaccounted for? Our seminar is comprised of individuals rooted in activism, academia, and the arts, who are calling in from across the United States. They bring their experience and expertise not only to imagine American society without the current policing system, but also to think beyond prisons, punitivity, and exclusionary practices in our institutions and movements.



Steph Hopkins​, Durham activist, member of BYP100 and Durham Beyond Policing;

J Kameron Carter​, Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University Bloomington, author of forthcoming book The Religion of Whiteness: An Apocalyptic Lyric;

Vincente SubVersive Perez​, UC Berkeley PhD Student, performance poet, activist, and author of B(lack)NESS & LATINI(dad);

Meghan​ McDowell​, Assistant Professor of History, Politics, and Social Justice at Winston-Salem State University, scholar-activist who studies forms of safety and justice that do not rely on policing or prisons;

Stephanie Green​, Duke Undergraduate majoring in Public Policy, and member of Duke Black Coalition Against Policing.


Jessica Covil 

Contact Tracing: Between Control and Care

Contact tracing has become one common practice to monitor and track the transmission of COVID-19 both regionally and globally. While the practice aims to take care of public health, its collection and use of data has still generated debates and concerns around the question of control, privacy and market, which, of course, also varies depending on different contact tracing approaches and conductors. With collective health on the one side and privacy protection on the other, how shall we balance control and care involved in contact tracing? How could we understand its implications and foresee its development? In this workshop we will explore not only the pros and cons of contact tracing but also the bias implied in the viral transmission, the rhetoric of the “super spreader,” and the ways through which technology might or might not constitute a more caring future.



Susan Craddock​: Professor in the Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota;

Mauro Turrini​: sociologist of science and medicine at the Institute of Public Goods and Policies (IPP) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC);

Vincenzo Pavone: Director of the Institute of Public Policies (IPP), ​of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC);

Morris Fabbri: Graduate, MA in Bioethics and Science Policy, Duke University.


Yanping Ni

Mutual Aid Around the World

This workshop seeks to explore the emerging global phenomenon of mutual aid in the pandemic era. We invite mutual aid practitioners and researchers from Italy, China, and Argentina. They will share observations from the ground as well as offer insights about the embedded structural issues. How do we measure the benefits and risks of mutual aid? What is the relationship between mutual aid assistance and state assistance? How might mutual aid in the pandemic differ from that in other circumstances? With connections and comparisons between different countries, we hope to altogether reimagine and move towards a future full of new possibilities of care.



Elia Zaru: PhD candidate in Cultures and Societies of Contemporary Europe at the Scuola Normale Superiore; activist of “Radio Onda d’Urto”;

Maisa Bascuas & Ana Julia Bustos: feminist and popular activist from Buenos Aires, Argentina;

ZHIZHU: independent filmmaker; mutual aid practitioner in the Wuhan quarantine. 


Tania Rispoli

The COVID-19 Childcare Crisis

“The Covid-19 Childcare Crisis” seeks to examine how the coronavirus pandemic has exposed existing problems in the U.S. childcare system. Our three panelists -Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts’s Fifth District, Dr. Bisa Batten Lewis of the BCDI-Atlanta, and Rhian Evans Allvin of NAEYC -will offer their insights on the “childcare crisis” and explore policy solutions to address the specific challenges revealed by COVID. The webinar will also include discussion of how childcare has shaped working from home, intersectionality in policy responses, and the childcare policy at the state-and national-level.



Congresswoman Katherine Clark: US Representative for Massachusetts’s 5th Congressional District;

Rhian Evans Allvin: CEO of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC);

Dr. Bisa Batten Lewis: President of the Black Child Development Institute (BCDI)-Atlanta.


Amanda Kang

Podcast were coordinated by Yanping Ni and Tania Rispoli and edited by Amanda Kang, Yanping Ni, Lucas Power and Tania Rispoli