"Natural Disasters: their portrayal in Film and impact in Indian History" with Dr Karl Schoonover

Past Event

05 November 2014, 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Somerville College
Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6HD

This seminar series is hosted by the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development at Somerville College Oxford

Please contact salome.hughes@some.ox.ac.uk, 01865 270633 for further information or to register your attendance.

How do we write a continuous history of the effects of episodes that occur rarely, unpredictably, and yet with devastating impact? In a recently published book on India, which forms the basis for the talk, I approach this question by dividing up time into three segments, the immediate, the medium-term, and the long run, and show that the pattern of response takes different forms between these time-frames. A history of disasters may show broad similarity over time if we consider only the immediate aftershock. The medium term involves a slow recovery and rebuilding by means that have changed over time. It is the long run response, knowing why extreme events occur, where deepest changes can be seen.

Dr Karl Schoonover is an associate professor of Film Studies at the University of Warwick. He is the author of Brutal Vision: the Neorealist Body in Postwar Italian Cinema (Minnesota UP, 2012), as well as coeditor of the collection Global Art Cinema: New Theories and Histories (Oxford UP, 2010). His research explores the relationship between film aesthetics and political change. For example, his current book project looks at cinema as a medium defined by its relationship to waste. This book argues that films turn to trash as a means of refashioning the broader politics of culture, value, and the environment. He has also published recent essays on labour in art films, cinema’s role in human rights campaigns, and eco-documentaries.

Tirthankar Roy is Professor, Department of Economic History, LSE. He has published extensively on the economic history of South Asia, and has taught South Asia and Global History at LSE. Recent publications include India in the World Economy from Antiquity to the Present, Cambridge University Press, 2012, and An Economic History of Early Modern India, Routledge, 2013. He is currently researching for a co-authored book on Empire and Law.