A Time of Care

The pandemic that has been going on for a year has made us realize the importance of care. We live in a time of increased care for loved ones; a time of straining the medical care system, but also of increased care work of parents who spend all days with their children, as well as those who care for the elderly and sick family members. The pandemic is also about concerns –– fears for the future, financial problems, or the challenge of juggling remote work and household duties. Care is ubiquitous, but it manifests itself more in everyday activities than in the public debate. The need for care may be evidenced by tweets, in which care very often appears in a negative context. “This is how much you care,” “this isn’t caring,” “fake,” “alleged” or “phony concern” –– these are just some examples that may indicate that care is a value that in the opinion of the authors is not implemented, even though, in the current situation, it should be a priority.

We propose subjecting the notion of care to reflection, which will allow for a better understanding of all its aspects and will become a starting point for humanistic considerations on the human and the world. The most important point of reference will be the feminist ethics of care, which puts at the center, not a rational or “economically-efficient” person, but a weak one and in need of care, who, at some stage of life, we all are. The pandemic aptly illustrates that the people in need of help are not some “others” or “outliers,” but all of us, including those who have previously been privileged. The myth of having to pull yourself up by your bootstraps is still very popular, but the extent to which we will need the care of others does not usually depend on our attitude or choice, but on the previously unknown susceptibility to a dangerous virus that can also destroy the lives of young and healthy people, who previously didn’t need anyone’s help.

The ethics of care is also about putting not the individual subject, but the relationship at the center. It is relations with others that are the starting point and the basis for the decisions made, and not the autonomous abstract subject, which a large part of the philosophical tradition has had us accustomed to. The very relationship of care and concern is, on the one hand, universal, and, on the other hand, culturally and individually diverse. We use different words in different languages ​​to express care and the emotions, attitudes, and norms associated with it. The topic of care is also taken up in literature and art, and caring for loved ones is also the subject of various rituals and social norms.

We invite you to take up the topic of the ethics of care in its individual and political dimensions and to reflect on the role of care and concern in the changing social reality. Feel free to present cultural and linguistic as well as artistic and literary images of care, not only in the context of the ongoing pandemic.

The following are examples (of course, not exclusive) that are worth discussing:
– ethics and politics of care in the era of the pandemic,
– gender, social, and geopolitical dimensions of policies to combat the spread of the virus,
– linguistic images of care and concern from a synchronic and diachronic perspective,
– cultural norms and rituals related to care,
– anxiety, concern for the future, and the breakdown of faith in progress as a generational experience,
– care in contemporary literature and art.

Authors who would like to consult an abstract or an idea for a text, please contact us by e-mail: barbara.brzezicka@ug.edu.pl.

Please send submissions by October 31, 2021, to redakcja@czaskultury.pl

Authors who would like to consult an abstract or an idea for a text, please contact us by e-mail: barbara.brzezicka@ug.edu.pl

The text should be under 24,000 characters (including footnotes and works cited) and comply with the MLA 8 citation/footnotes standards. Please include a scholarly biographical note (500-800 characters), your affiliation, ORCID, a list of works cited, and an abstract with keywords.

Note: not all texts must be scholarly, we are also interested in interviews or essays –– such texts will not be subject to the scholarly review process, but will be evaluated by the editors. We will also accept several scholarly reviews of the most recent books related to the topic.

Lead editor: Barbara Brzezicka