Lancaster University

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Foot-and-Mouth Disease Book Launch

10/01/2008 11:12:01

Dr Maggie Mort
Dr Maggie Mort

A book which sheds new light on the devastating impact of Foot and Mouth Disease is launched in Cumbria today (Wednesday, October 1). This revealing study explores the human experience of disasters, by examining how daily lives intersect with dramatic events.

The book - Animal Disease and Human Trauma: Emotional Geographies of Disaster - focuses on the Cumbrian Foot and Mouth epidemic in 2001 and places this in an international context by examining the ways in which communities survive and recover from a range of different disasters.

In the aftermath of 2001 the research team, led by Dr Maggie Mort of Lancaster University, examined the long-term health and social consequences of the Foot and Mouth Disease epidemic. The study drew on the weekly diaries of 54 people in North Cumbria who were involved or caught up in the disaster, from farm workers to community nurses to local residents. These diaries (totaling more than 3,000 narrative entries) were written over an 18-month period and contain unique insights into living through a disaster and recovering from its impact.

Dr Mort said: "Disasters tend to be approached by planners and policymakers as if they have a clear beginning, middle and end, but the experience of being in a disaster is often very different. For many victims and survivors, part of what makes particular events so harrowing is a sense that the past, the present and the future are all implicated or affected by what has happened. This book offers ways of thinking about disasters from which policy and practice improvements may be drawn.”

Animal Disease and Human Trauma - Emotional Geographies of Disaster is published by Palgrave Macmillan. It will be launched at 6.30pm on Wednesday, October 1, at Bluebell Bookshop, 8 Angel Lane, Penrith where it will be available for a discount price of £25.

The book's authors are:

IAN CONVERY, Senior Lecturer, National School of Forestry, University of Cumbria, UK and Honorary Research Fellow, Division of Health Research, Lancaster University, UK.

MAGGIE MORT, Reader, Dept of Sociology and Division of Medicine and Co-Director of the Centre for Science Studies, Lancaster University, UK.

JOSEPHINE BAXTER, Honorary Research Fellow at the Dept of Sociology, Lancaster University, UK.

CATHY BAILEY, Research Fellow, Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, National University of Ireland Galway, UK.