This presentation will look at historical and current racialized context of disasters and notions of environmental racism present in our society, with additional focus on visual representations in the media and popular culture. Lovekamp will discuss how press coverage of various disasters such as Hurricane Katrina have had an impact on emergency operations, warning communication and community response, and how this shapes “outsider” perspectives of communities that are impacted.
Bill Lovekamp specializes in the sociology of disasters, race and ethnicity, gender, collective behavior and social movements. He sits on the boards of a number of national and international associations and organizations addressing disaster preparation, response and vulnerability. He is also the secretary-treasurer of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on the Sociology of Disasters. He is co-editor of Social Vulnerability to Disasters, a major text in the field, and he maintains an active research agenda in both the areas of sociology of disaster and cemetery studies. Some of his more recent research has appeared as chapters in books and articles in journals (for example, HazNet, International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, Markers, and the Association of Gravestone Studies Quarterly).