Disasters Studies and Emergency Management

From academia to practice! I started my public service career as an emergency manager in July 2019. I am also an adjunct professor at Trinity Washington University.

Fall 2021, I will be joining the University of Kentucky as an Assistant Professor in Anthropology and African American & Africana Studies!

My work in disasters, vulnerability, and risk began over 12 years ago! Before my senior year of college, I applied to an undergraduate hurricane research program, funded by the National Science Foundation, at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. For my project, I examined factors that contributed to Haiti’s excessive casualties after major hurricane events. This research cannoned my academic and professional interests in disaster risk, structural inequalities, and governance.


Crystal Felima – CV – FALL 2020

With my trans-disciplinary background in Africana Studies and disaster anthropology, I draw attention to various themes including social justice, decolonization, power, structure, and agency. I also survey approaches and concepts within the fields of anthropology, sociology, geography, history, political science, and public administration to consider topics in disaster studies. My research addresses issues regarding the importance to disaster risk reduction, network collaboration, and decision-making in Haiti, a country where the implementation of disaster management is critical to dealing with future humanitarian emergencies.


I am particularly interested in ethnographic descriptions of environmental crises via narrative research. As addressed in my dissertation, Disaster Narratives of Flooding Experiences in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, local voices and perspectives offers scholars and researchers an opportunity to understand the shaping and making of disasters. For my doctoral degree, I spent a cumulative 27 months in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. My fieldwork revealed that indigenous meaning of crises imparts critical knowledge on survivorship and personhood. I plan to publish my dissertation into several articles on topics including disaster narrative research, vulnerability in the Caribbean, and autobiography + fieldwork.

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