Earthquake and Tsunami Aftermaths: A Roundtable Discussion

Thursday November 21, 2019
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM


One year. Eight years. Eighteen years. After disaster, life goes on. Individuals, communities and countries rebuild and restructure, leaving the time of disaster behind while they simultaneously incorporate its affective realities into their everyday lives. How can we understand the relationship between time and transformation in the wake of major natural disasters? How are these relationships mediated by specific social, political, and economic contexts which may torque and twist the material and affective experiences of reconstruction? This roundtable integrates diverse approaches to understanding the social elements of disaster aftermaths – with an eye towards producing useable knowledge in the present as we prepare for future disasters. The speakers will share their anthropological research in India, Sri Lanka, and Japan, followed by a response focused on Vancouver from the city’s lead seismic policy planner.

Join us before the event for a private exhibit tour at the Museum of Anthropology!


3:30 – 4:30        [space limited] Pre-event tour of the exhibit Shake Up: Preserving What We Value, led by co-curator Jennifer Kramer

@ Museum of Anthropology, 6393 NW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC

4:30 – 5:00        Coffee, tea and refreshments

@ CK Choi Building, 1855 West Mall, Vancouver, BC

5:00 – 6:30        Roundtable discussion

@ Room 120, CK Choi Building, 1855 West Mall, Vancouver, BC


Please note that space is limited for the pre-event exhibit tour at MOA. RSVP for the tour here.

Registration is not required to attend the 5pm roundtable event – please just show up!



Edward Simpson, Professor, Social Anthropology, SOAS University of London

  • Author of The Political Biography of an Earthquake: Aftermath and Amnesia in Gujarat, India (Oxford University Press, 2013)


Michele Gamburd, Professor, Anthropology, Portland State University

  • Author of The Golden Wave: Culture and Politics After Sri Lanka’s Tsunami Disaster

(Indiana University Press, 2013)


Chika Watanabe, Lecturer, Social Anthropology, University of Manchester

  • Principal Investigator of Exporting Readiness: Training Experts of Disaster Preparedness Education in Japan (British Academy-Leverhulme Grant)



Micah Hilt, Lead Seismic Policy Planner, City of Vancouver / PhD Student, UBC Geography



Sara Shneiderman, Associate Professor, Anthropology and School of Public Policy & Global Affairs, UBC

  • Principal Investigator of Expertise, Labour and Mobility in Nepal’s Post-Conflict, Post-Disaster Reconstruction (SSHRC Partnership Development Grant)


Jennifer Kramer, Associate Professor, Anthropology and Curator, Museum of Anthropology, UBC

  • Co-curator of Shake Up: Preserving What We Value (MoA exhibition on earthquakes)


This roundtable event is being held in conjunction with the American Anthropological Association / Canadian Anthropology Society joint conference (though you will not need to register for the conference in order to attend this roundtable). The event is supported by the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Arts, the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, the Department of Anthropology, the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Museum of Anthropology.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Event Poster