From a non-Native perspective, COVID-19 may be experienced as an unexpected and unprecedented catastrophe. Yet from a Native perspective, this current catastrophe links to a longer history that is synonymous with European colonization.
The worn trope—Time Devours All Things (tempus edax rerum)—is true for human beings, says Shakespeare: if you're a mortal, death lurks at the heart of the very thing you most want. During a plague, or a pandemic, it's wanting that endangers us.
Join us -- at a safe distance -- on this journey through the canonical and radical as we look to literary representations of pandemics in the past to help us understand the politics and possibilities of the present COVID-19 pandemic.