MEC Webinar: TT21: Week 4: War on Bodies: Moral Immunity and the Psychopolitics of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Iran

Conveners: St Antony's College Middle East Centre

Speaker: Dr Orkideh Behrouzan (SOAS University of London)

Chair:  Edmund Herzig (Faculty of Oriental Studies)

Discussant:  Dr Maziyar Ghiabi (Wellcome Trust Lecturer in Medical Humanities, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter)

Iran has been one of the worst hit countries by the Coronavirus pandemic, while its pandemic response has been shaped by the politicization of the outbreak and the securitization of information about it. This landscape of suspicion reveals a particular form of biopolitics that underlies the society’s structures of social and moral immunity, which are significant in determining the afterlife of a pandemic and emerging local and global biologies and socialities. This project is an attempt to trace the psychological life of the Coronavirus pandemic and the psycho-politics of its emergence and evolution, in order to understand the specific processes and forces in which the pandemic gains a local life and what it reveals about society.