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 phenomena.
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. A Former U.S Senate Congressional Fellow he has published dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters. His work has been featured in many major media outlets. He is a regular contributor to public radio stations and a frequent writer for Counterpunch. Mark Schuller is Associate Professor of Anthropology and NGO Leadership and Development at Northern Illinois University and affiliate at the State University of Haiti. Supported by the National Science Foundation Senior and CAREER Grant, Bellagio Center, and others, Schuller's research is published in thirty scholarly articles. He authored or co-edited seven books and co-directed/co-produced documentary Poto Mitan. Recipient of the Margaret Mead Award, he has a column in Huffington Post and is active as a board member and solidarity activist.
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 R. Eldridge Chapter 2. Whethering the Storm: The Twin Natures of Typhoons Haiyan and Yolanda Greg Bankoff and George Emmanuel 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. Decentralizing Disasters: Civic Engagement and Stalled Reconstruction after Japan's 3/11 Bridget Love Chapter 6. Expert Knowledge and the Ethnography of Disaster Reconstruction Roberto E. Barrios Chapter 7. "We Are Always Getting Ready": How Diverse Notions of Time and Flexibility Build Adaptive Capacity 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 Bibliography Index