Aging and Ageism in the Covid-19 Pandemic A Digital Symposium by the North American Network of Aging Studies

deadline for submissions: 
September 20, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
North American Network of Aging Studies

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic impacts the lives of societies, communities, and individuals deeply. Since the beginning of the pandemic, experts, scholars, journalists, and individuals have testified time and again to the fact that the virus does not impact everyone in the same ways. Identifying factors that heighten vulnerability is an important part of protecting those at risk. However, just as it is vital to recognize that racism and not race translates to higher exposure to and less protection from the virus for people of colour, it is crucial to recognize that ageism and not age is the greatest factor that puts older people at risk.


Since March 2020 the pandemic continues to expose many facets of ageism. There has already been some outstanding engagement with the topic in the academic community of age studies scholars. In order to continue these vital conversations and bring unique NANAS perspectives, we invite submissions to an online symposium that will take place from 11/05 – 11/06/2020. In the two-day symposium we welcome presentations from interdisciplinary humanities & social sciences that engage with (but are not limited to) various topics related to aging, ageism, and the pandemic such as the following:

  • loneliness and isolation
  • care and carework
  • funding and defunding nursing homes
  • treatment decisions in hospitals
  • community life
  • engagement with technology
  • specific impacts of ageism
  • intersections of age, gender, race, class, sexuality
  • portrayal in the media
  • artistic practices



Because the COVID-19 pandemic is a current event of such wide impact and importance for age studies, we wish to specifically encourage students, graduate students, and emerging scholars to participate. Participation is free to all presenters and audience members.


We will offer a prize of a year’s membership in NANAS to the students, graduate students or emerging scholars who author and present the three best papers on “Ageism in the Pandemic.” Papers should be 10 minutes long and should address ways in which the pandemic has either exacerbated existing ageist tendencies and practices in North American societies, or created new ways of expressing or redressing ageist practices and attitudes.


Please send a 300-500 word presentation proposal and a brief biographical note to by September 20, 2020.