CFP: Workshop on Natural Disaster and the City: Historical Perspectives from Southeast Asia and Japan, 1945-2011

Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
Convenors: Professor Yoko Hayami and Dr Loh Kah Seng
16-17 January 2013
The workshop invites papers that undertake inter-disciplinary and transnational approaches to the study of natural disasters. It aims to historically contextualise the causes and consequences of disasters and to compare them across societies. The focus is on cities in Southeast Asia and Japan after World War Two, as expressed along three general lines of inquiry.

First, the workshop will explore how the vulnerability of urban populations was influenced by new or accelerated human processes that were most manifest in cities in the postwar period, such as population growth, urbanisation, migration, national integration, economic development, and environmental degradation. Below the macro, the workshop considers how urban communities have coped with hazardous living, how far responses have been fractured by various forms of social stratification and whether local perspectives and agency have diverged from state and international approaches to disaster prevention and rehabilitation. Finally, the workshop examines why some disasters have not merely been events occurring at the tail end of long-term processes, but have themselves become catalysts for historic change in the postwar period. Relevant themes include:
· Historical factors affecting the risk faced by urban populations.
· Cities as sites of risk, response and rehabilitation.
· Cultures of disaster and coping mechanisms of urban communities.
· Micro-histories, ethnographies and memories of urban disasters.
· Disasters as catalysts for historical change.
The session welcomes contributions from historians, geographers, sociologists, and anthropologists, among others, and from both established scholars and PhD students at an advanced stage of their research. Papers can examine individual cities or compare different cities. Pls submit a 500-word abstract and a copy of your CV to Loh Kah Seng by 30 June 2012.

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