Conference at Portland State to Examine the Politics of Disasters
Author: Angela D. Abel (503-725-3773) Office of Marketing and Communications
Posted: April 12, 2006

What: The Portland Center for Cultural Studies presents, "Spelling Disasters," with keynote speaker Ann Cvetkovich, Department of English, University of Texas, Austin. The conference explores the role of disasters in constituting social and political life. What counts as a catastrophe, and how do these exceptional events shape the ways we understand the daily life that preceded or follows them? From Hurricane Katrina, to modern genocide, to the burning of the ancient library in Alexandria, dozens of scholars will engage the imagining of catastrophe, its relationship to trauma and memory, media and publicity and the role of human rights movements.

When: April 29-30, 2006

Where: Portland State Smith Memorial Student Union (1825 SW Broadway).

Cost: The conference is free and open to the public.

Contact: For more information, please contact Lee Medovoi at 503-725-4946 or visit

Background: Ann Cvetkovich has written extensively on trauma studies, globalization, subcultures, and activism. Her keynote address is titled "From Trauma and Disaster to Public Feelings: The Role of Oral History." She is the author of Mixed Feelings: Feminism, Mass Culture and Victorian Sensationalism and the co-editor of Articulating the Global and Local: Globalization and Cultural Studies.

The Portland Center for Cultural Studies, housed at Portland State University, is a consortium of over 70 Portland-area scholars who seek to enhance the quality of life in the Portland area through building intellectual community in the region and encouraging scholarly inquiry. The Center now provides an annual slate of programs that bring scholarship and research to bear on matters of public interest, providing forums where intellectual inquiry and civic engagement come together.

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