Call for Papers: The emotional geographies of natural disasters

Session Title: The Emotional geographies of Natural Disasters

Session Organizer: Stephanie Morrice, PhD Candidate, Royal Holloway, University of

It has long been acknowledged that catastrophic events have the ability to cause widespread disruption to both people and places. They disturb not only to the physical strictures of a locality, but also the emotional attachments people feel to places. They are, by their destructive nature, characterized by a sudden and emotional blast of loss, fear, uncertainty and anxiety. Victims of disasters are commonly forced to find refuge in unfamiliar settings, as their once comfortable and familiar setting of ‘home’ becomes a place of alienation and heartbreak.

Over recent years, debates within emotional geography have explored the importance of understanding how the human world is constructed and lived through emotion. While psychologists have long discussed the mental health effects of catastrophic events, this session intends to draw greater attention to the work within geography that demonstrates the important connection between emotion and disasters. At a time of lively debate from within the field of emotional geography, and an age where the threat of natural disaster is particularly prominent, this interdisciplinary session aims to explore the emotional turmoil associated with the post-disaster environment and the complexities of people’s emotional response to disaster. Understanding these issues more thoroughly is crucial for planners and policy makers who are dealing with the long-term effects of natural disasters.


Areas of interest may include, but are not limited to:

* Emotional responses to natural disasters.

* Loss of home.

* Disaster displacement and return.

* Methodological challenges associated with researching emotion in a post-disaster context.

* Feelings of exclusion and “otherness” in the post-disaster environment.

* The importance of material culture in the post-disaster context.

* The emotional character of different natural disasters.

* The spatiality and temporality of emotions.

* Nostalgia and memory.


Please send abstracts of no longer than 250 words to Stephanie Morrice ( by Friday 1stFebruary, 2013.