CeMoRe seminar with Eric Hsu, Hawke EU Centre, Australia

Date: 8 November 2016 Time: 4.15pm to 6.00pm

Venue: FASS MR1

Defining disasters in the new mobilities paradigm

Eric L. Hsu, Hawke EU Centre for Mobilities, Migrations and Cultural Transformations, the University Of South Australia

Within the field of disasters research, there is a tendency to define disasters as temporally and spatially focused events. The aim of this paper is to reveal some of the conceptual limitations of maintaining such a description of disasters, which excludes slow moving and spatially diffuse phenomena such as climate change and droughts. While it is important to recognize that expanding the definition of disasters runs the risk of rendering the term overly broad and meaningless, I suggest that there are some ways of theorizing disasters, which do not completely threaten the wholesale integrity of the concept. This involves adding temporal and spatial qualifiers to the typology of disasters, which open up "instead of close down on" the topic’s complexities. The sociological account of disasters that I advance draws from key insights developed in the new mobilities paradigm and from recent sociological debates concerning the theory of social acceleration.

Event website: http://people.unisa.edu.au/Eric.Hsu


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe), Mobilities.Lab, Sociology

Keywords: Disasters, Mobilities