Spectacular Reconstructions: Ways of Seeing and the Politics of Recovery in American Urban Disasters

author: Kevin Rozario, Smith College
published: Feb. 28, 2011,   recorded: March 2002,   views: 2734

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Kevin Rozario uses the two most devastating urban catastrophes in American history, the Chicago fire of 1871 and the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, to explore how extraordinary recovery from sudden ruination can be both compelling and inspiring. He discusses industrialization and cultural responses to disaster, with analysis of narrative accounts of disaster as well as performative accounts that have served to reassure Americans that new and improved urban environments can come of disaster. He further explores how the "mass consumer culture" of America has shaped American responses to events of September 11th.

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