RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2017


Postcolonial theory and the reinterpretation of ‘natural’ disasters

Research Group Affiliation(s)
Disaster studies have seen a distinct increase in analyses at the ‘community’ or ‘local’ level. Significant attention has been given to the ability of local communities to plan and prepare for, absorb, respond, and recover from disasters. This panel seeks to build on this work by bringing postcolonial analyses into these conversations. De Loughrey, Didur and Carrigan (2015) in particular, have shown that postcolonial analyses allow one to question and reinterpret dominant narratives about disaster preparation, response, and recovery, as well as the everyday experiences of 'at risk’ groups. A focus on postcolonial analyses also allows one to critically challenge the clear-cut divisions between social and natural disasters. Postcolonial theories also facilitate analyses that disrupt linear notions of reconstruction in global contexts, and which recognize and understand alternative ecological futures in disaster contexts. Finally, these approaches help to identify and understand the hidden experiences of people living in disaster contexts, as well as their resistances to technocratic and top down forms of disaster risk management.

This session invites scholars to contribute empirical as well as conceptual papers that apply postcolonial theory to explore ideas such as (but by no means limited to):
- Alternative less obvious forms of resistance to disaster risk management;
- Orientalist discourses within disaster risk management policy and practice;
- Limits of existing frameworks to understand disaster risk reduction;
- The politics of knowledge in disaster risk management;
- Tradition and modernity and linkages with ambivalent forms of disaster risk reduction;
- Migration and associated impacts on disaster risk;
- Everyday experiences in disaster contexts;

DeLoughrey, E., Didur, J., & Carrigan, A. (Eds.). (2015). Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities: Postcolonial Approaches (Vol. 41). Routledge.
Instructions for Authors
As part of submitting an application for a proposed session, the RGS require that session organisers provide details of all proposed presented and paper abstracts. If you would like to present at this session you should email Gemma.sou@manchester.ac.uk by Monday February 13, 2017, with the following:
- Title
- Abstract (max 250 words all inclusive)
- Author affiliation and email address
- In case of multiple authors, an indication of who will be presenting the paper
Call For Papers Deadline
Only the session convenor/submitter may modify the Call for Papers. To edit the Call for Papers, please enter the passcode that was sent in the email when the Call For Papers was submitted, and click the "submit" button.