9/11 and the Aftermath of Mass Tragedies

How do we move forward collectively and individually from events that have shattered our everyday lives? What types of rituals, modes of storytelling, and other practices do persons find helpful in the wake of a mass tragedy? Dr. Kate DeConinck spent five years conducting an ethnographic study about the aftermath of 9/11 in New York City. In this presentation, she will share insights from her fieldwork with an eye towards what this past tragedy can teach us about the present.

Dr. Kate DeConinck teaches in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego. She is trained as an anthropologist of religion and specializes in the role that religion plays in the wake of mass tragedies such as 9/11 and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. For the past two years, she has also served as a co-director of USD’s Urgent Challenges Collective (Homelessness Initiative), which supports research, teaching, and advocacy on the issue of homelessness. Dr. DeConinck designs and oversees the Collective’s programs and has also participated in research studies on topics such as mourning, grief, and homelessness. She is also a co-chair of the Teaching Religion Unit of the American Academy of Religion.

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