UNCG Campus Weekly

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Disaster relief can create lasting trauma

The talk “Disasters are Us: The Anthropocentric Roots of Mayhem” will be presented by Dr. Steve Kroll-Smith Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, in the Faculty Center, 12:15 p.m.

From the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, to the earthquake and firestorms in 1906 San Francisco, to the flooding of New Orleans in 2005, to Superstorm Sandy seven years later, to the recent Hurricane Harvey inspired mayhem in Houston, and, the havoc Irma wreaked on Puerto Rico, a single narrative thread ties together America’s historic catastrophes. The noteworthy source of human misery in each of these disparate disasters was not the destructive agent, the atmospheric or geologic event. It was, rather, the work done in the name of disaster relief that created the most telling and lasting trauma. Drawing on work he recently completed on the 1906 San Francisco calamity and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Professor Kroll-Smith sketches out the broad outlines of market forces that inevitably work against humane and successful efforts at recovery. Professor Kroll-Smith will close with some brief comments on the anthropogenic roots of climate change and the unsettling idea that we humans are the only species on earth that can think our way to extinction.

This presentation is part of the Department of Sociology’s Brown Bag Series