Interview Guide

Carolina Arias is an Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Her lab at UCSB focuses on virus-host interactions. We ask about being a virologist during a global pandemic and the process of making the virus visible to non-specialists. The complications of communicating scalar risk during a pandemic also features in our conversation.

Kirsten Ostherr, Professor of English at Rice University, speaks with us about her research on medical imaging and public imaginations of disease. We think about what it means to “visualize a virus” in addition to discussing data privacy and risk in the landscape of digital healthcare. Maile uses “spreading like wildfire” as a poorly timed metaphor for the actual wildfires which would soon spread across the West Coast.

Kim Hoffman, Solution Services Sales Specialist at Microsoft, speaks with us about how technology companies are responding to and working with state and local initiatives to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We talk about data privacy and the development and implementation of contact tracing applications.

Tina White, creator of CovidWatch and Ph.D student at Stanford University, tells us about the process of developing a contact tracing app sensitive to data privacy. Data collection, surveillance, and protecting contact tracing application users are the main topics of conversation. 

Priscilla Wald, Distinguished Professor of English at Duke University, researches the cultural conditions which help define the narratives of disease outbreaks. Living through a global pandemic, of course, offers new dimensions to both the historical events which Dr. Wald studies and shapes how we talk about pandemics in the years to come. We speak with her about the narrative of COVID-19, structural violence, and the influence of the digitalized present on the pandemic experience.

Anying Guo, the Fine Arts editorial aide at the Washington Post, talks with us about the challenges print media faces in the changing landscape of increasingly digitized production accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss changes in form, content, and readership of major news publications as they reflect the ongoing experience of pandemic.