The postcolonial disaster project is part of a two-year Fellowship held by Dr Anthony Carrigan and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK (AHRC) as part of its Care for the Future theme. The project looks at how postcolonial art, literature, and films help us understand how disasters are experienced and understood in global contexts, and how we might better support post-disaster recovery and reconstruction in the long term.
Dr Anthony Carrigan is the Project Leader and is a Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures in the School of English at the University of Leeds. He is the author of Postcolonial Tourism: Literature, Culture, and Environment (Routledge, 2011), and has published essays on postcolonial literature and disaster in the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, New Literatures Review, the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, and the edited collection, Postcolonial Ecologies: Literatures of the Environment (OUP, 2011). He was previously Principal Investigator for a linked AHRC-NWO research network, The Cultural Politics of Catastrophe: (Post)colonial Representations of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Disasters, 1800-2012, which led to the publication in 2014 of a special issue of the journal Moving Worlds on ‘Catastrophe and Environment’.
Dr Shamira Meghani is Postdoctoral Research Assistant for the the project, also based in the School of English at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on literary constructions of subjectivity and identity, and intersections of sexuality, gender and ethnicity/race in relation to narratives of imperialism, nationalism and liberal-humanist ideologies. She has particular interests in the theory and construction of the body and dissident gender, desire and sexuality in South Asian writing, and is currently exploring how these dynamics are manifested in relation to disasters.
Melanie Hadida (Bhopal Medical Appeal) is a graduate from McGill University in Montreal, Canada with a BA in International Development Studies and Women’s Studies. In 2007 she first traveled to Bhopal, India on a university internship to live and work at the Sambhavna Trust Clinic, a clinic delivering critical health care to victims of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster and subsequent water contamination crisis. In 2008 she began working at Vanier College in Montreal, running the International Education Office and managing Public Engagement Grants from the Canadian International Development Agency based on educating youth about prevalent development issues in Africa. Since 2008 Melanie spent several more months living in Bhopal and working at the Sambhavna Trust Clinic and the Chingari Trust and Rehabilitation Centre for disabled children. She currently works for the Bhopal Medical Appeal, a UK-registered charity as a grant-writer and fundraiser, and works towards raising awareness in the UK and internationally about social, environmental, and gender issues in gas and water affected communities in Bhopal.