The get-to-know: Zuzana Hrdlickova

The get-to-know: Zuzana Hrdlickova

Zuzana is a social anthropologist interested in disaster, STS, conflict, and gender. Between 2011 and 2015 she was a post-doctoral researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London working on the ERC-funded ‘Organizing Disaster: Civil Protection and the Population’ research project. Together with Dr. Michael Guggenheim and Dr. Joe Deville, who are both sociologists, she analyzed how three states – Switzerland, India and the UK related to disasters (be they nuclear or of other nature) in the context of relationship to their citizens. The project looked at developments from post World War II until present and the changing conceptualizations of civil defense, and its transformation into all-hazard approaches and disaster management. The comparative approach allowed the project team to focus on transnational issues, such as disaster exercise and materiality of preparedness, such as shelters.

Read more about Zuzana here.

Selected articles of interest with regard to workshop theme:
2014, with J. Deville and M.Guggenheim “Concrete Governmentality: Shelters and the Transformations of Preparedness.” co-authored. In: Disasters and Politics: Materials, Experiments, Preparedness. Manuel Tironi, Israel Rodriguez-Giralt, Michael Guggenheim (eds). Sociological Review Monograph. Chris Shilling (ed.), pp. 183-210 Winner of the 2014 Amsterdamska Award by the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology.

This article analyzes how shelters act as a form of concrete governmentality. Shelters, like other forms of preparedness, are political acts in the absence of a disaster. They are materializations and visualizations of risk calculations. Shelters as a type of concrete governmentality pose the question of how to build something that lasts and resists, and remains relevant both when the object that is being resisted keeps changing and when the very act of building intervenes so publicly in the life of the restless surrounding population. Comparing shelters in India, Switzerland and the UK, we highlight three transformations of preparedness that shelters trigger. First we analyse how shelters compose preparedness by changing the relationship between the state and its citizens. Rather than simply limiting risk or introducing ‘safety’, the building of shelters poses questions about who needs protection and why and, as we will show, this can generate controversy. Second, we analyse how shelters decompose preparedness by falling out of use. Third, we focus on struggles to recompose preparedness: Changing ideas about disasters thus lead to shelters being suddenly out of place, or needing to adapt.

2016,  “Good” Time for Disaster: The Importance of Temporality in Governance Thinking.’ In: Disaster Governance in Urbanising Asia’. Miller, Michelle Ann and Douglass, Michael. Springer, pp. 127-144.

2016, with J. Deville and M. Guggenheim “Organising Disaster: Civil Protection and the Population. A report for practitioners”, London: Goldsmiths, University of London.

2017, “Post-Disaster Field Trips: Building Expert Knowledge through Itineraries, Memory Sticks and Cameras” In: Living with Disasters: Perspectives on the (Re) Production of Knowledge. Swee, Hannah and Hrdličková, Zuzana (eds). Special issue of Nature and Culture. Vol 12, issue 1, pp 1-7.

2017, “Introduction” (with Hannah Swee) In:Living with Disasters: Perspectives on the (Re) Production of Knowledge. Swee, Hannah and Hrdličková, Zuzana (eds). Special issue of Nature and Culture. Vol 12, issue 1, pp. 46-64.