We are living through a public health emergency unprecedented in our lifetimes. This has thrown our inherent connection and the inequalities that fracture our societies into stark relief. It is changing many aspects of how we live and work and it will change the way that The Australian Sociological Association operates.
TASA will be going virtual. Resources we put towards face-to-face activities will be redeployed towards virtual initiatives. Unfortunately, our 2020 TASA Conference scheduled for November at the ANU is postponed. We will announce a new date as soon as we can.
We will not be doing less this year, however. Hopefully we will be doing more. Many of us will need a moment to pause, to take in what is going on and adjust the way we live, including more time physically on our own or with family and the consequences that come with this.
As many have pointed out, this is a time when physical distancing is crucial but where we should remain as socially connected as we can. In the coming weeks we will announce how we will reshape our support for our members and for Thematic Group, Social Sciences Week and other TASA events.
Many of us need a moment to catch our breath but soon we will return to our sociology, whether concretely contributing to understanding the inherent social dimensions of the current crisis or the other important questions about how we live together that we will continue to pursue. We will need to work together to do this and TASA will facilitate it.
We will also need to laugh with each other and share experiences of the changes we face. So, we are also looking at how we keep the social dimension of TASA going in virtual platforms across the coming weeks and months.
At this stage I want to highlight
- Our upcoming special section of Health Sociology Review on Sociology and the COVID-19 Pandemic, edited by Professor Deborah Lupton.
- The first of our new lunch-time online seminars, Peta Cook on ‘Ageism and COVID-19’, April 23rd, 12:30pm – 1:30pm via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/979751205 (will also be recorded and uploaded to TASA’s YouTube channel.)
- Our Nexus blog is ready to receive your pandemic or non-pandemic related reflections.
- Our new all-member forum for your contributions on ‘Doing sociology in unsettled times’
- We have also purchased a Zoom account that supports virtual events up to 100 participants. If you are a TASA member planning an event and would like to use this resource, please contact Sally Daly.
We will announce other opportunities soon.
Yours in sociology
Dan Woodman (on behalf of the TASA Executive Committee)