We Are All Survivors
Verbal, Ritual, and Material Ways of Narrating Disaster and Recovery
Published by: Indiana University Press
What is the role of folklore in the discussion of catastrophe and trauma? How do disaster survivors use language, ritual, and the material world to articulate their experiences? What insights and tools can the field of folkloristics offer survivors for navigating and narrating disaster and its aftermath? Can folklorists contribute to broader understandings of empathy and the roles of listening in ethnographic work?
We Are All Survivors is a collection of essays exploring the role of folklore in the wake of disaster. Contributors include scholars from the United States and Japan who have long worked with disaster-stricken communities or are disaster survivors themselves; individual chapters address Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Maria, and two earthquakes in Japan, including the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster of 2011. Adapted from a 2017 special issue of Fabula (from the International Society for Folk Narrative Research), the book includes a revised introduction, an additional chapter with original illustrations, and a new conclusion considering how folklorists are documenting the COVID-19 pandemic.
We Are All Survivors bears witness to survivors' expressions of remembrance, grieving, and healing.
1. Introduction: We Are All Survivors, by Carl Lindahl
2. Into the Bullring: The Significance of "Empathy" after the Earthquake, by Yutaka Suga
3. Rebuilding and Reconnecting After Disaster: Listening to Older Adults, by Yoko Taniguchi
4. The Story of Cultural Assets and their Rescue: A First-Hand Report from Tohoku, by Kōji Katō
5. Critical Empathy: A Survivor's Study of Disaster, by Kate Parker Horigan
6. Empathy and Speaking Out, by Amy Shuman
7. The Intangible Lightness of Heritage, by Michael Dylan Foster
8. Documenting Disaster Folklore in the Eye of the Storm: Six Months After María, by Gloria M. Colom Braña
Conclusion: The COVID-19 Pandemic and "Folklife's First Responders," by Georgia Ellie Dassler and Kate Parker Horigan
"As catastrophes proliferate around us, We Are All Survivors provides a timely, intimate, and empathetic look at disasters and recovery. Written by a group of outstanding folklorists, most of whom have themselves faced the devastation of traumatic events, this volume explores the role folkloristics has played and can play in disaster stricken communities. We Are All Survivors is a book of thought, methodological skill, and heart."~Diane Goldstein, Professor Emeritus, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Indiana University
"We Are All Survivors demonstrates why folklorists should deal with disasters. The book challenges widely distributed emergency imaginaries about social disorder, chaos, and violence, and it demonstrates how narration is a necessary resource for healing and for community-making in post-disaster communities. The book should be mandatory reading for everyone involved in emergency planning and rescue operations, from authorities and aid organizations to news media reports."~Kyrre Kverndokk, Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Bergen, Norway