Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

(2) Disaster Temporalities and Subjectivities: Alternative Pasts and Possible Futures

3/22/2018
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Thurgood Marshall North, Mezzanine

As events of rupture, disasters provoke “what if” questions, wherein people must assess what went wrong or right, and come to terms with the past and be better prepared for the future (Clarke 2006). By comparing cases across the most disaster-prone region in the world (ESCAP 2016), this panel brings together junior and senior anthropologists and geographers to explore how disasters push actors across Asia to reevaluate the region’s histories and futures, and their own subjectivities, amidst cultures and geographies of uncertainty. The temporalities of disaster are not linear, but cyclical, compressed, and messy. Gagne explores how the intersection of national policies, local recovery plans, and ongoing displacement creates a “zoned liminality” for evacuees of the 2011 disaster in Japan. Gergan explores the relationship between increasing earthquakes and landslides, colonial histories, and state-led infrastructural development in the Indian Himalayan region. Kimura and Watanabe examine how Japanese aid actors re-interpret Japan’s experience with disasters into the future of preparedness in Chile. Thomas employs the concept of shifting baselines to understand how disaster mitigation efforts in Vietnam and Bangladesh are undermined by insufficient attention to the historical processes that underpin contemporary hazards. The panel encourages discussion through an innovative format in which each panelist comments on another’s pre-circulated paper in a round-robin format. Discussants Shneiderman and Rankin draw upon their emergent research on post-disaster transformation after Nepal’s 2015 earthquakes to engage synthetically with the geographically diverse presentations, encouraging the panelists and audience to explore how the various regional cases connect and diverge.

Presentations:

Isaac Gagne

German Institute for Japanese Studies, Hong Kong

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Chika Watanabe

University of Manchester, England, United Kingdom

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Katharine Rankin

University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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    Isaac Gagne

    German Institute for Japanese Studies, Hong Kong

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    Chika Watanabe

    University of Manchester, England, United Kingdom

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    Kimberley Thomas

    Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania

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    Mabel Denzin Gergan

    Georgetown University, District of Columbia

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    Sara Shneiderman

    University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada

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      Katharine Rankin

      University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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