The Monkey of Pudoh Gaol: The Disaster of Beriberi in Modern Asia

Author: Dr Chris Courtney In 1902, the British imperial authorities in Kuala Lumpur incarcerated a monkey in Pudoh Gaol. The intention was to use the animals to determine whether “some poison or toxin…present within the walls of the Gaol” was causing inmates to succumb to beriberi. The State Archives of Malaysia, which contain records of … [Read more…]

Historicizing Disasters Through Undergraduate Collaborative Research

Author: John Schneiderwind (University of Central Arkansas) In Arkansas, where the majority of my students hail from, the threat of destructive tornadoes is an annual occurrence. Each spring, National Weather Service warnings and outdoor tornado sirens announcing approaching twisters foster in students experiential knowledge of state approaches to protect citizens from tornadoes. In this context, Arkansas … [Read more…]

New York City Is Building for a Future of Flooding

Author: Jamie Condliffe (re-posted from MIT Technology Review: Coastal areas of the northeastern U.S. could experience huge increases in sea level by 2100, and its largest city is already preparing. As rising sea levels continue to pose a threat to coastal regions of the U.S., low-lying but densely populated regions like New York City are … [Read more…]

Using Archives of Past Floods to Estimate Future Flood Hazards

Authors: Tina Swierczynski, Monica Ionita, and David Pino ( Worldwide, floods cause greater economic damage and loss of human life than any other type of natural disaster. We urgently need better assessments of flood hazards to reduce the societal impact of extreme floods caused by Earth’s rapidly changing climate, among other factors. One way of assessing … [Read more…]

Disaster Justice in Anthropocene Asia and the Pacific Conference

Authors: Michelle Miller and Marcel Bandur As all disasters occur in political space, disaster justice is situated in spheres of governance and in the context of the rapidly urbanizing societies of the Asia-Pacific that are increasingly impacted by the advent of the Anthropocene, namely, the destructive human transformations of nature that are significant drivers of … [Read more…]

Good Samaritans?

Author: Dr Caroline Brassard The increasing emergence of ‘non-traditional actors’ in the humanitarian field – some of whom bring specialized skills and innovative technology, others who are ill-prepared – heralds a new chapter in disaster relief. The increasing importance of private businesses, charities and faith-based organizations in responding to humanitarian and environmental crises is impacting … [Read more…]

Call for Abstracts – Navigating Towards Security & Sustainability, PRiMO Annual Conference, March 20-23, 2017, Honolulu, Hawaii

Communities throughout the world face natural and man-made threats and hazards. Since 2003, the Pacific Risk Management Ohana (PRiMO) has been bringing people and organizations together to share knowledge, increase collaboration, and build resilient communities. The 2017 PRiMO Conference will focus on “Navigating Towards Security and Sustainability.” We invite researchers, scholars, and scientists to submit … [Read more…]

Fascination with Disaster: the rise and rise of ‘dark tourism’

Author: Dr Fiona Williamson The term ‘dark tourism’ was coined in 1996 by academics J. Lennon and M. Foley to mean tourism that involves travelling to sites associated with disasters and suffering. Disasters and stories of human tragedy seem to hold some kind of special fascination for us. Keeping alive the memory of people’s suffering … [Read more…]