Trembling World: A Workshop on Earthquakes, Tsunamis and the Politics of Disaster

Venue: Birkbeck Main Building
Booking details: Free entry; booking required

Organised by the BISR Working Group on Population, Environment and Resources

With Richard Hamblyn, Lecturer in the Department of English and Humanities, Birkbeck College and Gerald Roberts, Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck College.


The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 established certain modern (western) protocols of disaster response informed by Enlightenment notions of rationalism, relief and reconstruction. Since then, questions of public order, health, planning and communication have been deeply intertwined with the causes and consequences of earthquakes and tsunamis in different parts of the world.

How is the probability of seismic hazards best communicated to lay-people, civil protection authorities or governments? Why are earthquakes inherently unpredictable in terms of location, timing and magnitude? What are the political aftershocks of earth tremors and how are they managed? These are some of the questions to be addressed in a workshop combining the historical, cultural and political insights from both the natural sciences and the humanities.

The Population, Environment and Resources Working Group
examines global connections between population, environment and resource dynamics and their links to politics.

The Birkbeck Institute for Social Research (BISR) is the focal point for social research at Birkbeck and a hub for its dissemination and discussion in London and beyond.

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Contact phone: 0207 631 6612

Further details: More information about this event …