Covid Play/s: Entertainment and the Arts in the Quarantimes

December 3, 2020

deadline for submissions: January 17, 2021

full name / name of organization: Dr. Catherine Quirk, Concordia University; Dr. Carolyn Ownbey, University of Chicago

contact email:

Covid Play/s

Entertainment and the Arts in the Quarantimes

When the arts, culture, and entertainment industries of the world came to a screeching halt in late winter 2020, many commentators claimed this was the end of art as we know it. Theatre managers and museum directors grasped at straws, trying to stoke excitement via social media and running archival footage in hopes of generating revenue while their seats and halls remained empty. Artists’ opportunities to show or create non-digital work ran dry. Film and television sets were vacated and production put on hold.

At the same time, gaming platforms and streaming services thrived. Animal Crossing on Nintendo’s Switch became a worldwide phenomenon; Netflix traffic hit all-time highs. DJs streamed to Instagram live, garnering record viewerships. Meanwhile, friends and colleagues got creative with distanced sociality and shared cocktails on Zoom, at least until the fatigue set in.

As we enter, from a North American standpoint, months 10 and beyond of “quarantine,” the question of how we have learned – as creators or consumers – to play, is far from settled. This proposed collection addresses the question of play in broad terms: how have the arts, culture, and entertainment industries adapted to a majority virtual world? How has our understanding of togetherness and play changed with public health guidelines in effect? Might new forms of art and play developed in quarantine outlive the pandemic and perhaps supplant earlier forms? What do these forms offer in terms of accessibility, equity, or exclusion?

We invite submissions for this edited collection on any area of arts, culture, and entertainment. Please send 300-word abstract, title, and short biography to by 17 January 2021.

Posted by Dospel & GanjaParker