After Japan's 2011 tsunami, many tsunami survivors resisted attempts to protect the coastline through new infrastructures. This talk asks why people who had experienced disaster refused things that should prevent it from happening again. Prof. Littlejohn argues that efforts to harden coastal edges can undermine the very objects-social worlds-they claim to protect. Drawing on alternatives proposed by survivors, he asks how we might "ecologize safety" instead.
About the speaker: Andrew Littlejohn is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology of Leiden University. The core question motivating his current research is how to live more sustainably in a world damaged not only by intensifying hazards but also the technologies we develop to mitigate them. His current book project, After the Flood, examines these issues in the context of Japan's 2011 tsunami and its aftermath.
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- Asian/Pacific Studies Institute