Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, Hurricane Katrina, the HIV/AIDSpandemic, and the subprime mortgage crisis: global phenomena that have produced catastrophic human suffering and trauma. In this seminar we will explore the central paradox of emergency aid: how the ethical urgency to reduce universal suffering collides with resource scarcity thus limiting the scope and potential of humanitarian relief. The course will consider the underlying social, political, economic and cultural conditions that magnify disasters, and critically examine how disasters expose the fault lines of social inequality embedded in society. Additionally, we will attend to ways in which disasters are presented and represented visually; exploring the repercussions of the 24 hour news cycle that consign disasters to the level of public spectacle and overlook recovery efforts. This course will offer students the opportunity to improve their public speaking skills as they analyze cases of disasters and their aftermath in a variety of speaking assignments including multi-media presentations. Classroom discussions and debates about topics such as the ethics of emergency aid and expert versus local problem solving strategies will provide additional speaking practice.
Section 401 - SEM -
VAN DE RUIT, CATHERINE
CLAIRE M. FAGIN HALL (NURSING 209
Department of Anthropology
Museum, Room 325, 3260 South Street Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 898-7461 Fax: (215) 898-7462