Panel no. 85 - Disasters as Transformation: The Anthropology-Geography Dialogues


Title Dr First name Ayesha Last name Siddiqi
Institution University of Cambridge City Cambridge Country GB


Title Dr First name Asad Last name Shah
Institution name Habib University City Karachi Country PK


Panel title

Disasters as Transformation: The Anthropology-Geography Dialogues

Panel abstract

The geographic focus of this IUAES Congress theme, Coming of Age on Earth provides a timely opportunity to shed new light on the question of disasters and change. Anthropology of disasters has long grappled with questions of cultural continuity or change after disasters and the extent to which people affected by hazards are coping or adapting to new realities in its aftermath. More recent interventions in human geography have increasingly examined the social and political spaces in the aftermath of disasters to understand ways in which they might mobilise or hinder change. While anthropology has tended to illustrate that deep and systemic cultural change is unlikely to be realised through a single disaster event, work within geography has shown transformative (rather than incremental) change may be possible in the aftermath of disasters if enabling political and social conditions emerge. This panel will bring together anthropologists and geographers to engage in a cross-disciplinary dialogue on change in the aftermath of disasters. Reflecting on existing and new research it will further develop one of the most fundamental debates within anthropology and geography of disasters - continuity versus transformation. Additionally, it will discuss the extent to which coping, adaptation or transformation are organic processes that can or cannot be fostered through organised interventions.

IUAES Commission