Domenico Cecere

Disaster writings and aspirations for reform in the Kingdom of Naples (1783). The making of emergency response policies

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Natural Disasters; Post-Disaster Recovery; Petitions; Political Communication; Calabria.

This article addresses the complex making of emergency response policies by early modern societies, by analysing the recollections of disaster shared by survivors and their calls for aid and relief. Research focuses primarily on accounts and pleas sent to the Neapolitan government in the wake of the Messina and Calabria earthquake of 1783, and aims to cast new light on the social, political and cultural processes by which the circulation of information and petitions led to the construction of influential narratives of extreme events. By studying the exchange of information spurred by such events, I will assess how the different interpretations influenced the making of the strategy for recovery, and show that the aspirations and needs expressed by the affected communities did not go entirely unheard.

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