States of Crisis: Disaster, Recovery, and Possibility in the Caribbean

Friday, May 3, 2019 - Saturday, May 4, 2019 The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room


Free and open to the public

No registration necessary

First come, first seated


David Scott

The Caribbean is often described as a region in crisis. In the aftermath of recent natural disasters in the region, the Caribbean is understood to be uniquely imperiled by climate change and is subjected to various forms of political and fiscal intervention. In September 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria ravaged the region and elevated questions surrounding climate change and its impacts on the Caribbean to the forefront of political discourse. The hurricanes of 2017 marked the latest in a series of environmental crises in the region, which include the volcanic disasters of 1995 and 1997 in Montserrat, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and an increasing quantity and intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms. Meanwhile, Caribbean states and territories are afflicted by crises in governing legitimacy, as sovereign debt, multinational disinvestment, and heightened rates of violent crime threaten political order. The aims of this conference are both empirical and theoretical. First, this conference features ethnographic research on the impacts of natural disaster and political crisis throughout the Caribbean. Secondly, this conference considers how empirical perspectives from the Caribbean inform approaches to political anthropology in an epoch of anthropogenic climate change.


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