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VIDEO DOI: https://doi.org/10.48448/q5h0-nh64

technical paper

AAA Annual Meeting 2021

November 18, 2021

Baltimore, United States

UnEnding Disaster(s) and Health Impacts: Anthropological Accounts and Responsibility in the aftermath of Water Crisis, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and COVID-19, Part 1


environmental justice



In Part 1 of this panel, we explore the health impacts of ongoing, repeating, and intersecting disasters in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic. We highlight the voices of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx scholars to consider how the intersections of our social, racial, and ethnic identities create different forms of access to truth(s) and require heightened levels of social and community responsibility in our ethnographic research. We focus on the intersecting realities of disaster events with our embodied experiences as we expand beyond prevailing anthropological discourses of vulnerability and resiliency to consider what is the responsibility of anthropologists in documenting and addressing health crises in our ongoing fieldwork. We, also, address how COVID-19 has inspired us to create new forms and methods of anthropological research and engage in discourses that consider the health implications of fieldwork in the midst of global crises. Here we address: the ongoing water crises in Newark, NJ and the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on community activists; exposure to air pollutants/asbestos and increased susceptibility to COVID-19 in Chicago, IL; possibilities for ethnographic fieldwork while coping with COVID-19 and a high active hurricane season in New Orleans, LA; P’urhepecha indigenous ontologies and community responses to COVID-19; and the possibilities for empathic ethnography in the midst of COVID-19. We build on anthropological discourses of disasters as man-made processes (Douglas & Wildavsky 1982; Janes & Chuluundorj 2015; Hinkson 2017; Das 2007; Bonilla 2018) to uncover how disasters are not singular short term ‘events’ but ongoing restructuring of lived worlds (Paredes 2006; Jackson 2006) that have grave impact on the quality of life, care work, and health of project participants and field researchers.


Transcript English (automatic)

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