Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2021


The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been structured around the idea that human connection and sociality are bad—they are dangerous. This essay suggests that, perhaps paradoxically, rather than isolating to stay healthy, people are forging new egalitarian forms of connection. I argue that COVID-19 has enhanced experiments in what I will call a “burgeoning feminist commons.” These foreground new, horizontal forms of sociality, and they build the grounds of resistance, refusing to separate the time of political organization from that of reproduction. I discuss three such experiments: masked mobs, friendly fridges, and pandemic pods. Each form of connection takes place at a different scale, from the global to the local to the intimate, each with its own affective dimensions. These forms of togetherness are about coexisting in ways that ensure everyone’s survival. As such, they abandon any hope of purity.


This article was originally published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, available at

This work is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).



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