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21 - 22 July 2011

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SUSAN STERETT     USA   21/7/2011 
Twenty scholars came together from Australia, Portugal, Spain, Germany and the United States to share perspectives and frameworks on disaster. In addition to the Institute´s wonderful support, the workshop received a grant from the United States National Science Foundation. Attending to how the intellectual frameworks from sociolegal studies can inform disaster studies, and why sociolegal scholars can extend our attention to disaster is crucial. A focus on humanitarian needs is increasing around the world while western welfare states face dramatic stress. Disasters and humanitarian assistance arise alongside intellectual attention to law and governance as networks rather than legal commands. Finally, we have increasing conversation about what climate change means for governance structures and for need. These themes were central in the two day workshop on sociolegal studies and disaster. The workshop included senior and junior scholars, some of whom have long studied risk, social welfare, land use planning, and media coverage of disaster. We discussed situated knowledge and expertise. We had new scholarship concerning what disaster has meant in immigration rules, in what we expect of citizens in preparation and recovery from disaster, and in scientific understandings. We developed concepts through particular disasters, including the Sichuan earthquake, earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Katrina, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We look forward to continuing the conversation at conferences and in publications. The mixture of scholars from different disciplines, and at different stages in their careers, allowed wide-ranging, generative discussion.
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Chad Relief Foundation
USA/Chad [30/7/2011] -
Susan, I now work in disaster relief. I''''''''d be interested in any further meetings that you organize. Best, Bill

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