COVID-19 and the Dynamics of Race and Othering

Part of our webcast series, "SNF Agora Conversations: The Politics and Policy of COVID-19"

The impacts of COVID-19 and social distancing across the nation and the world cannot be understood without examining the way they interact with long-standing structural racial inequities and patterns of “othering.” In the United States, Asians and Asian-Americans are the victims of increasing incidents of violence and hate crimes, and communities of color are disproportionately suffering and dying from coronavirus-related illness. Join us for a conversation about how legacies of racism, xenophobia, and anti-immigrant sentiment are playing out in the current crisis, and what can be done to counter this troubling trend.


  • Erin Aeran Chung is the Charles D. Miller Associate Professor of East Asian Politics in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. She previously served as director of the East Asian Studies Program and co-director of the Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship Program at Hopkins. She is the author of Immigration and Citizenship in Japan (2010) and Immigrant Incorporation in East Asian Democracies (forthcoming 2020) and co-editor of the Cambridge Elements Politics and Society of East Asia series.
  • Jamila Michener is an assistant professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University. Her research focuses on poverty, racial inequality, and public policy in the United States. Her recent book, Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism and Unequal Politics (2018) examines how Medicaid affects democratic citizenship and assesses American political life from the vantage point(s) of those who are living in or near poverty, (disproportionately) Black or Latino, and reliant on a federated government for vital resources.

Hahrie Han, professor of political science and director of the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University, will moderate.


About SNF Agora Conversations: The Politics and Policy of COVID-19

As coronavirus spreads across the country and around the globe, we are facing a crisis not just in healthcare, but also in how we live, work, learn, engage, and come together to govern ourselves as citizens and in communities.

How do the politics of the pandemic shape the way individual, communities, and institutions respond? Likewise, how does institutional and governmental response to the pandemic shape people’s political views and behaviors? Do people trust what their governments are telling them? Why are some countries controlling the spread of the virus better than others? In the U.S., how will this affect the 2020 elections? And how do we practice social distancing and also protect and promote civic engagement and inclusive discourse?

SNF Agora Institute will host a series of webcast conversations, with experts from Johns Hopkins University and beyond, that will explore the political and policy implications of COVID-19.