Risk and Disaster TIG News

We have some exciting news to report. First, welcome Dr. Irena Connon as TIG co-chair! 

Our mentoring roundtable is getting off the ground! Thank you to the ELEVEN mentors who stepped up and attended the in-person networking session. Stay tuned for more information, or please contact Anne Garland: awhgarland@yahoo.com.

And the TIG is launching a writing group! It is just in the stages of being organized. If you’re interested in joining, please email Seven Mattes: seven.bryant@gmail.com.

Finally, the SfAA board unanimously approved the TIG’s proposal for First Book Prize in Critical Disaster Studies. The Risk and Disasters Topical Interest Group of the Society for Applied Anthropology is pleased to announce an annual competition for a book manuscript proposal by a single author in the field of critical disaster studies who has not previously published a book. 

The SfAA seeks nonfiction manuscript proposals that exemplify cutting-edge critical antiracist, decolonial scholarship on disasters. The competition seeks ethnographic monographs that interrogate power, inequality, and the author’s own positionality from wherever in the world and whatever the hazard. Submissions from traditionally marginalized groups are particularly welcome, as are manuscripts that theorize and intervene in processes of exclusion within disaster scholarship. The competition is open to scholars and practitioners from all disciplinary backgrounds, prioritizing work that speaks effectively across disciplines, and projects that offer new perspectives on the nexus of disasters, power, colonialism, race, and inequality.

This will only happen if we are able to raise the funds for the endowment. Please email TIG co-chair Mark Schuller if interested in offering your support: mschuller@niu.edu.

Dr. Irena L. C. Connon

I’m Irena Connon (she/her/they) and I’m a Social Anthropologist based in Scotland, working as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Social Sciences at the University of Stirling. Before this, I held positions at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Dundee, and the University of Technology Sydney. I also serve as an Advisor to the Scottish Parliament. I have over fifteen years’ experience undertaking applied-action research focusing on improving understandings of the diversity of the lived experience of environmental risk, hazards, and disasters, aimed at enhancing inclusion in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) policy and practice.

My current main area of research focuses on understanding experiences of extreme weather in Scotland. Other recent research focuses on experiences of living in areas affected by environmental contamination, the Covid-19 Pandemic, and compounding crises, including experiences at the intersections of conflict, migration, contamination, and anthropogenic climate change. By focusing on disability, youth, rural, and gendered perspectives, my research has helped promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in national and international policy and practice in the extreme weather and environmental contamination DRR contexts.

I have been an active member of SfAA since 2016, when I joined the Risk and Disaster Topical Interest Group (TIG). Since then, I have contributed regularly to the Annual Meetings and have been part of a supportive community of scholars and practitioners within the TIG. As someone who struggled to find my own voice during the early stages of my career and for whom the TIG provided a welcoming, and supportive space, I’m enormously grateful to all members for their support and commitment to developing a lasting international network of applied social scientists interested in the issues of risk, disaster, and displacement. As Co-Chair I would like to further expand and strengthen the network, by reaching out and welcoming more scholars and practitioners, including scholars and practitioners from the Global South, Indigenous scholars, junior scholars for whom the pandemic created additional barriers to networking and opportunities, and undergraduate as well as graduate level students. I would also like to work toward furthering the development of an ethics of care by helping facilitate the provision of spaces where new and emerging perspectives, experiences, approaches, and discussions can flourish, and which build upon existing efforts to diversify, indigenize, and de-colonise disaster anthropology. 

It’s a real privilege to be working on behalf of the TIG and I’m also very much looking forward to working together with Mark Schuller, the current Chair. 

©Society for Applied Anthropology 

P.O. Box 2436 • Oklahoma City, OK 73101 • 405.843.5113 • info@appliedanthro.org