Society Fish Destroyed

Sri Lanka Post-War and Tsunami: A Talk with Dr. Bittel

On Tuesday, September 15 at 12:30pm, Dr. Elizabeth Bittel will explore the multidimensional processes at play in complex humanitarian emergencies that produce disparate long-term recovery outcomes in Sri Lankan communities as they recover(ed) from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and Sri Lankan civil war. This talk focuses specifically on the rapid rise of the tourism economy in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, to interrogate how recovery and tourism development co-occur and highlight the implications for socio-cultural structures as communities work to integrate tourism into already-vulnerable social systems. 

Elizabeth will provide a brief presentation of her research findings, and then workshop ideas and questions for conducting long term ethnographic research in light of ongoing, co-occuring disasters in Sri Lanka including the the 2019 Easter Day terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka which was the most violent attack on civilians following the end of the war in 2009 and brought tragedy to both field sites, the global COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions, and political uprisings. 

Central themes guiding the conversation will include how to ethically and logistically conduct long-term ethnographic research in communities as they experience intersecting, chronic disasters.

Elizabeth Bittel is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at SUNY Cortland. She earned her PhD in Environmental Sociology from University of Colorado Boulder in 2019 where she conducted research at the Natural Hazards Center. She is currently working on an ethnographic monograph about Disaster Recovery in Sri Lanka, work which has been generously funded by the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies and the National Science Foundation. To learn more about Dr. Bittel, please visit her website here.

Please register here.

If accommodations are needed, please contact Emera Bridger Wilson.