Pandemic Journaling Project - call for participants
This spring, as the force and magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic became increasingly clear, an interdisciplinary team at UConn, Brown University, and Trinity College raced to create the Pandemic Journaling Project, a combined journaling platform and interdisciplinary research study that lets anyone around the world create a weekly record of this turbulent time using text, voice recordings, and images, for themselves and for posterity.
While anyone 18 or older, anywhere in the world, can participate, the Project aims in particular to reach people and communities most affected by the pandemic. Participants will be able to view and download their journal entries via a password-protected website and, if they choose, give permission to share their entries on the project’s Public Journal Entries page. The research team is committed to data sharing and collaboration in the near-term, and after 25 years, all contributions will become a publicly accessible historical archive. The web interface is currently set up for participation in either English or Spanish, but written and audio journal contributions can be in any language.
Before creating their first journal entries, participants answer survey questions about demographics, COVID-19 exposure, and current health status. Two journaling opportunities follow, including a recurring question about the impact of the pandemic on one’s life and a choice of two weekly questions on topics such as work and finances, health, and encounters with discrimination and racism, as well as experiences of community, social connection, and the arts. Although the Project was developed to capture COVID-19 experiences, its scope has expanded by necessity to include responses to the murder of George Floyd and the widespread social and political shifts now unfolding in the U.S. and around the world.
The Project’s declared mandate greets website visitors: “Usually, history is written only by the powerful. … The goal of the Pandemic Journaling Project is to make sure that ordinary people struggling through this pandemic have their voices heard, and their experiences remembered.”
The Pandemic Journaling Project was launched with seed funding from various units at the University of Connecticut, Brown University, and Trinity College. For more details, see this recent article, visit the project homepage, or follow the Project on Facebook (@PandemicJournaling), Twitter (@PandemicJourna [without the final “l”]), or Instagram (@PandemicJournaling), or contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.