Thinking Through the 2015 Nepal Earthquakes

A remaining window of a collapsed house is pictured after an earthquake at Barpak villageFriday 5 February
9 am – 5 pm


208N, North House
Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Place, University of Toronto



Register Here:

This symposium aims to widen and sharpen debates about the politics of humanitarianism and development by reflecting on the devastating 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. The symposium focuses on Nepal to pose broad questions that engage public conversations in the social sciences and politically-engaged humanities on the histories of post-colonial states, their administrative architectures, and global geographies and technologies of humanitarianism. Key questions for discussion include: Who responded, and in what ways? How does seismic instability articulate political power and instability? How was Nepal “territorialized” for and by earthquake relief? What tensions arise in the mix of differently scaled responses, between solidarity and inequality, assistance and domination, progressive and regressive possibilities? What, crucially, is, or could be, the role of the critical humanities and social sciences in troubling and refining the humanitarian present?

The proceedings are organized to facilitate discussion among scholars, development practitioners, and policy makers, and will feature cross-regional perspectives from other Asian contexts. Registered participants are invited to join a lunch, followed by an afternoon workshop hosted by the Toronto-based network, Asha (Hope) Toronto, oriented to exploring strategies for promoting aid accountability and critical social science in and for Nepal, and in the thought and application of disaster relief and the dispensing of humanitarian projects more broadly.

Co-sponsors: Asha Toronto, Asian Institute, Centre for the Study of Korea, East Asia Seminar Series, Department of Geography and Planning, Development Studies Seminar Series, Dr. David Chu Program in Asia-Pacific Studies

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