The Global Pandemic Did Not Take Place: Cancellation, Denial and the Normal New

Pete Bennett, Michael Jopling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


Asserting that the global pandemic did not place is not to deny its human cost but, influenced by Baudrillard, Barthes, Berardi and others, to focus on its function as paradox and myth. The depiction of the pandemic as catastrophe or endpoint has obscured its use as cover for extending exploitation and inequality in the service of returning to normality, new or otherwise. This chapter draws on a range of theories, philosophies and other forms of writing to consider the existential and epistemological threats, and opportunities for change, created by the pandemic. Our exploration of its implications is applied primarily to education because it is a key area in and through which the pandemic’s effects can be examined and mediated. To do this, our analysis explores issues of cancellation, denial, depersonalization, vulnerability and remembering/ forgetting. We conclude by asserting that so much of our understanding of the pandemic is out of its depth that we need to use theoretical insights like those we have drawn on to examine and resist the myths and pretences that have been used to disguise that failure of understanding and to create new knowledge ecologies and forms of education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBioinformational Philosophy and Postdigital Knowledge Ecologies
EditorsMichael A. Peters, Petar Jandrić, Sarah Hayes
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030950064
ISBN (Print)9783030950057
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2022


  • pandemic
  • cancellation
  • denial
  • learning
  • knowledge
  • theory


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