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12 Nov 14

How differently do we now understand and approach emergencies, and what does it mean in 2014 — philosophically, medically, politically, emotionally — to “be prepared for” emergencies? In this lecture, cultural historian and translator Hillel Schwartz (Holtzbrinck Fellow, fall 2014) addresses the question of “emergency,” beginning from the traditional understanding of emergency as “an unanticipated juncture that demands immediate, direct, often concerted action so as to stave off drastic threats or to cope with aftermaths of disaster.” He explains how emergencies have come to be associated with fashion, contraception, and daycare as well as oil spills, nuclear “incidents,” climate change, and international terrorism – a remarkable shift in nature and notion since “emergency” was floated into written English in the 1600s.

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