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Composing disaster/disastrous compositions : nature, politics and Indonesia's mud volcano

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Title: Composing disaster/disastrous compositions : nature, politics and Indonesia's mud volcano
Authors: Drake, Phillip
Keywords: disaster
cultural studies
Issue Date: Dec 2012
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2012]
Abstract: In response to the diverse materials and contexts that shape representations of the disaster, my research has adopted an interdisciplinary attitude, as I employ insights and methods from literary analysis, cultural studies, science and technology studies (STS), political philosophy, ethnography, disaster studies, historiography, and policy studies. This project includes over four years of gathering and analyzing cultural material, like literature, photography, songs, and film, and also news media reports, scientific publications, corporate releases, political statements, casual conversations, and formal interviews.
In addition to applying literary and cultural studies frameworks to scientific debates, this effort to open up new potential networks involves using insights from STS, particularly Bruno Latour's version of Actor-Network Theory, to explore political and cultural formations emerging outside of technocratic institutions. Thus, this project dwells in the intersection between analytical frameworks in STS and cultural studies, where neither field is cordoned into isolated discursive spheres. My research is informed by other theoretical work emerging out of the intersection between cultural critique and STS, which manifests in a range of discourses and disciplines. In ecocriticism, works by Ursula Heise, Stacy Alaimo, and Timothy Morton provide exemplary inquiries into questions about representation, aesthetics, politics, and ethics in a world pressured by the growing influence of technoscience. In philosophy, works by Bruno Latour and Isabelle Stengers on nonhuman agencies, ecological networks, and the role of science in society have been influential in reframing the ways many understand the ontological and epistemological relationship between the human and other actors in the world. Scientific and technological factors also figure heavily into theorizations of "biopower" and "governmentality" that emerge from the work of Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Giorgio Agamben, and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. STS and cultural studies also permeate animal studies, especially in the work of Donna Haraway, Jacques Derrida, Cary Wolfe, and Nicole Shukin, who each consider the ways we understand beings as either human or something "other" and the relationships and practices that pivot upon these distinctions. Fascinating research in geography by Erik Swyngedouw, Noel Castree, and Michael Gandy reveals how cultural and technoscientific forces intersect to influence our understandings, experiences, and productions of both places and spaces. And in postcolonial studies, theorists like Sandra Harding, Arturo Escobar, and Arun Agrawal each observe the movements of science, technology, and culture across space, the power that underwrites these movements, and the ways these movements shape subjectivity.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - English

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