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Disasters and crises in a world of ruins [Disaster and Crisis Anthropology Network (DICAN)] 
Susann Baez Ullberg (Uppsala University)
Susanna Hoffman (International Commission on Risk and Disaster)
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Susann Baez Ullberg (Uppsala University)
Susanna Hoffman (International Commission on Risk and Disaster)
A.J. Faas (San Jose State University)
Chika Watanabe (University of Manchester)
Roberto Barrios (University of New Orleans)
Ruy Blanes (ISCTE-IUL, CRIA, In2Past)
Thomas Hylland Eriksen (University of Oslo)
Thursday 25 July, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

Pandemics, infrastructural breakdown and the climate crisis are but some devastating effects of an overheated world. But if volatility and runaway futures is the new normal, rather than a world punctuated by extraordinary events, how can disaster and crisis anthropology theorize a world in ruins?

Long Abstract:

Pandemics, racialized violence, displacement and forced migration, climate change, infrastructural breakdown, toxic pollution, loss of biodiversity, are but some of the devastating accumulated effects of an overheated world. Few remain oblivious to the current complexities of human-more-than-human inter-dependencies and the multi-scalar vulnerabilities at play. More than one disaster occurring after another, protracted emergencies and compound crises seem to feature present times. Disaster and crisis anthropology seem particularly well placed to grasp this, with its long standing methodological and conceptual toolbox analyzing the historical, social, political and economic relations and practices that not only produce rupture, but also enable recovery. But if uncertainty, volatility and runaway futures is the new normal, rather than a world punctuated by temporally and spatially circumscribed extraordinary events, what does our understanding of disaster and crisis mean? This round-table discusses the current relevance of established concepts in the field, and explores the usefulness of others. It aims at problematizing basic spatial and temporal assumptions inherent in the study of disasters and crises, and at interrogating some of its epistemological and ontological premises by asking how disaster and crisis anthropology can contribute to theorizing a world in ruins.