Join us on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at the Rutgers Livingston Student Center, room 201 AB. This event is free, but registration is required.
Hazards in Context
The 9th MaGrann symposium honors the research and scholarship of James K. Mitchell. This title was chosen in recognition of Mitchell's focus on the contextual aspect of hazard—that is, that single explanations could not suffice from place to place but instead that hazards admit of multiple and sometimes conflicting interpretations.
Mitchell's work emphasizes the hazard characteristics of contingency, uncertainty, ambiguity, and surprise. His research probes contrast, such as the stark differences between hazard management systems in San Diego and Tijuana. It also explores contradiction, such as the widespread thirst for “strong leadership” after Hurricane Katrina, in contravention of what is known about the distributed character of influence and power in the disaster setting. Complexity is another central theme of Ken Mitchell's work, evincing a belief that nuanced and situated theories of risk and hazard are essential in guiding more adaptive risk management innovations in human-environment interaction. Exemplars of this approach include studies of recovery after the Tangshan earthquake and the implications of economic growth and expansion in China, work on disaster recovery policy in New Zealand, and exploration of the significance of diverse and multi-sectoral partnerships in the evolution of US disaster policy. In each case, Ken takes main guiding principles, such as adaptation, and positions them on different stages, interlocking general ideas with local concerns, in order to place hazards in context.
This 9th MaGrann symposium explores these themes through keynote addresses and panel presentations. The speakers include leading figures and upcoming junior scholars in the field of natural hazards, many of whom are Ken's former students and valued colleagues.
A MaGrann Symposium
Hazards in Context is part of the MaGrann symposia series. The MaGrann symposia were inaugurated in 2003 as an annual or biennial meeting organized by the Department of Geography at Rutgers University around a pressing global environment or development theme. Accepted presenters represent various disciplines in the social sciences, humanities and physical sciences and are drawn from Rutgers University as well as from institutions around the world. Past themes have included: First World Political Ecology, Third World Environmental Justice, The Caribbean at Risk, Breaking the Ice: Theorizing the Arctic Thaw, The Future of Disasters, Land-Use Transitions in the Tropics, Land Fictions, among others.
Thinking about hazards in context. Image credit: Kae Yamane.
- Mitchell, James K. 2015. The conservation of human responses to natural hazards and disasters. In Conserving Cultural Landscapes: Challenges and New Directions, eds. Ken Taylor, Nora Mitchell and Archer St. Clair. Eds, pp. 341-357. London: Routledge.
- Mitchell, James K. 2015. Governance of megacity disaster risks: Confronting the Contradictions. In Risk governance: The articulation of hazard, politics and ecology, ed. Urbano Fra, pp. 413-40. Springer.
- Mitchell, James K. 2011. Looking backward to see forward: Historical changes of public knowledge about climate hazards in Ireland. Irish Geography 44 (1): 7-26.
- Mitchell, James K. 2010. Changing knowledge about disaster recovery. In Risk and Planet Earth, eds. Anne Dolemeyer, Janek Zommer and Gerd Tetzlaff, pp. 31-42. Stuttgart: Schweitzerbart Science Publishers.
- Mitchell, James K. 2008. Including the capacity for coping with surprises in post-disaster recovery policies. Reflections on the experience of Tangshan, China. Behemoth: A Journal on Civilization 1 (3): 21-38.
- Mitchell, James K. 2008. Perspectives on alternatives: differentiation and integration in pursuit of a better fit between society and nature. Progress in Human Geography 32 (3): 451-58.
- Mitchell, James K. 2006. The primacy of partnership: Scoping a new national disaster recovery policy. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 604 (1): 228-55.
- Mitchell, James K. 2006. A century of natural disasters in a state of changing vulnerability. In New Jersey’s Environments: Past, Present, and Future, ed. Neil Maher, pp. 164-98. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
- Mitchell, James K. 2005. Urban disasters as indicators of global environmental change: Assessing functional varieties of urban vulnerability. In Earth System Science in the Anthropocene, pp. 135-52. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
- Mitchell, James K. 2003. The fox and the hedgehog: Myopia about homeland vulnerability in US policies on terrorism. Research in Social Problems and Public Policy 11 (1): 53-72.
- Mitchell, James K. Ed. 1999. Crucibles of hazard: Megacities and disasters in transition. Tokyo: United Nations University Press.
- Mitchell, James K. Ed. 1996. The long road to recovery: Community responses to industrial disaster. Tokyo: United Nations University Press.
- Mitchell, James K., Neal Devine, and Kathleen Jagger. 1989. A contextual model of natural hazard. Geographical Review 79 (4): 391-409.
- Mitchell, James K. 1988. Confronting natural disasters: An international decade for natural hazard reduction. Environment 30 (2): 25-29.
- Mitchell, James K.. 1979. Social violence in Northern Ireland. Geographical Review 69 (2): 179-201.
- Mitchell, James K. 1978. The expert witness: A geographer's perspective on environmental litigation. Geographical Review 78 (2): 209-14.
- Mitchell, James K. 1976. Adjustment to new physical environments beyond the metropolitan fringe. Geographical Review 66 (1): 18-31.
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