Contextualizing Disaster offers a comparative analysis of six recent 'highly visible' disasters and several slow-burning, 'hidden', crises that include typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes, chemical spills and the unfolding consequences of rising seas and climate change. The book argues that, while disasters are increasingly represented by the media as unique, exceptional, newsworthy events, it is a mistake to think of disasters as isolated or discrete occurrences. Rather, building on insights developed by political ecologists, this book makes a compelling argument for understanding disasters as transnational and global phenomenon.
Gregory V. Button is an internationally recognized disaster researcher and a former faculty member at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, as well as a former faculty member of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he was Co-Director of the Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights Program. Mark Schuller is Associate Professor of Anthropology and NGO Leadership and Development at Northern Illinois University and an affiliate of the Faculte d'Ethnologie, l'Universite d'Etat d'Haiti.
Introduction Gregory V. Button and Mark Schuller Chapter 1. A Poison Runs Through It: The Elk River Chemical Spill in West Virginia Gregory V. Button and Erin Eldridge Chapter 2. Whethering the Storm: The Twin Natures of Typhoon Haiyan and Yolanda Greg Bankoff and George Emmanual Borrinaga Chapter 3. The Tremors Felt 'Round the World: Haiti's Earthquake as Global Imagined Community Mark Schuller Chapter 4. Contested Narratives: Challenging the State's Neoliberal Authority in the Aftermath of the Chilean Earthquake Nia Parson Chapter 5. Revelation and Deconstruction: Decentralizing Japan after 3/11 Bridget Love Chapter 6. Adapting Expert Knowledge To The Social and Environmental Particularities of Disaster Affected Localities. Roberto Barrios Chapter 7. "We are always Getting Ready": How Diverse Notions of Time and Flexibility Build Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in Alaska and Tuvalu Elizabeth Marino and Heather Lazrus Chapter 8. Tempests, Green Teas, and the Right to Relocate: The Political Ecology of Superstorm Sandy Melissa Checker