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In this special issue, we focus on academic equivalents of the Wuhan lockdown and the George Floyd protests. That is to say, we examine moments when multiple intersecting factors have generated a crucial inflection point within scholarly discourse, resulting in a series of methodological and conceptual shifts capable of impacting work across a variety of different disciplines. These sorts of shifts are often referred to as “turns,” with the word turn being a trope (which, of course, literally means “turn”) that carries two sets of mutually opposed connotations—suggesting both a discrete shift within an existing trajectory as well as a fundamental redirection, such as a U-turn. In fact, both sets of connotations apply to the phenomenon of the scholarly turn. Just as the Wuhan lockdown and the George Floyd protests were each the result of a gradual accumulation of earlier developments that eventually came to pose a more fundamental challenge to the existing status quo, scholarly turns are similarly the product of a long series of incremental intellectual and sociocultural developments but ultimately come to be regarded as fundamental paradigm shifts and methodological realignments.