Emotions of the Pandemic: Phenomenological Perspectives

The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying social restrictions have been associated with a range of emotional experiences, some of which are unusual, unsettling, disorienting, and puzzling. The aims of this special issue are as follows:

(1) To show how interdisciplinary phenomenological research can enhance our understanding of individual and collective emotional experiences during the pandemic, including experiences of anxiety, grief, shame, and distrust.

(2) To investigate how studying this unprecedented situation can further our understanding of human emotional experience.

Topics addressed by contributors include shame and shaming, anxiety, anger and indignation, grief and loss, loneliness, boredom, the effects of extreme isolation, how emotional experience is regulated and dysregulated by on-line environments, changes in the sense of time, and what it feels like to be in a crisis.


  • Matthew Ratcliffe

    Matthew Ratcliffe is Professor of Philosophy at the University of York, UK. His work addresses issues in phenomenology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of psychiatry. He is author of Feelings of Being: Phenomenology, Psychiatry and the Sense of Reality (Oxford University Press, 2008), Experiences of Depression: A Study in Phenomenology (Oxford University Press, 2015), Real Hallucinations: Psychiatric Illness, Intentionality, and the Interpersonal World (MIT Press, 2017), and Grief Worlds: A Study of Emotional Experience (MIT Press, 2022). Email:

  • Luna Dolezal

    Luna Dolezal is Associate Professor in Philosophy and Medical Humanities at the University of Exeter where she leads the Shame and Medicine Project, funded by the Wellcome Trust, and the Scenes of Shame and Stigma in COVID-19 project, funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council. She is author of The Body and Shame: Phenomenology, Feminism and the Socially Shaped Body (Lexington Books, 2015) and co-editor of the books Body/Self/Other: The Phenomenology of Social Encounters (SUNY Press, 2017) and New Feminist Perspectives on Embodiment (Palgrave, 2018). Email:

Articles (14 in this collection)

  1. Anger and uptake


    • Shiloh Whitney
    • Content type: OriginalPaper
    • Published: 19 August 2023
    • Pages: 1255 - 1279