W013
Experiencing calamity - expressing the unthinkable

Convenors:
Susann Baez Ullberg (Uppsala University)
Nina Gren (Lund University)
Chair:
Susann Ullberg
Stream:
Workshops
Location:
5
Start time:
27 August, 2008 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

Major social crises (disasters, armed conflict, pandemics) are disruptive events in the established social order and in the life course of those experiencing them. This panel explores how experience of calamity is expressed on different levels: in practice, narratives, images and performance.

Long abstract:

Major crises - be they famines, natural disasters, economic breakdowns, armed conflict, pandemics or environmental catastrophes - are disruptive events in the established social order as well as in the life course of those experiencing them. Social crises expose the conjunctures of politics, economy and culture on local, regional, national and transnational levels, and are, by definition, situations permeated by uncertainty and sudden loss, which prompt for urgent 'meaning making' of the event in itself. 'Accidental communities' are created by means of shared experience and encompassing large social aggregations and individuals alike. How do people make sense of the unexpected? What are the lived experiences of the unthinkable? How do people cope with strain, socially, culturally and materially? We invite scholars to explore how experience of calamity is expressed on different levels, in practice, in narratives, in images and/or in performance. We welcome papers on all related topics, such as emotions, symbolics, memory making, inter/subjectivity, identity, aesthetics, diversity and other aspects.