The interdisciplinary field of the environmental humanities offers new ways of considering tropical disasters. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and similar incidents were once thought to be acts of God or isolated natural occurrences. New eco-critical approaches to the field, however, challenge the separation between human activity and environmental events.
This panel departs from the premise that there is no such thing as a natural disaster. Instead, it explores the interplay of environmental, historical, economic and cultural factors in producing human vulnerability and resiliency to tropical catastrophes. This panel invites submissions of paper proposals that analyze the cultural productions of tropical disasters, ranging from literature, music and art to food, film and folklore. All time periods and geographical locations will be considered, with special attention given to proposals that are transnational, inter-oceanic and/or theoretically innovative.
Assistant Professor of Spanish
University of Virginia