3/27/2020 Auditing Resilience: Life and Numbers in Uncertain Times

27 March / Symposium

Over the past two decades, the language of resilience has transformed how change and crisis are translated into technocratic problems, from post-disaster recovery planning and humanitarian aid, to anti-terrorism defense, transitions in regional industries, and collapses in wildlife populations. Some social scientists have identified “resilience thinking” as informing an altogether new form of rationality, one that leads organizations to promote individual responsibility over collectivized risk mitigation programs and other precautionary strategies. In this symposium, speakers will explore how the proliferation of new quantitative indicators meant to enact and assess these transformations have altered patterns of everyday life in so-called “resilient” communities. Treating resilience as a new kind of technocratic framing that portends limits to technocracy itself, speakers will also examine how the portraits of adaptation and adaptability brought into circulation by these programs have shaped experts’ relationships with the people they administer, as well as their understandings of their own roles in the world. 

Organizer: Tom Özden-Schilling (JHU Anthropology)

Andrew Lakoff (Sociology, University of Southern California)
Danielle DiNovelli-Lang (Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University)
Karen Hébert (Geography, Carleton University)
Roberto Barrios (Anthropology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Nathaniel Adams (Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University)
Tom Özden-Schilling (Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University)

Location: TBA