In an emergency, we often look to media: to contact authorities, to get help, to monitor evolving situations, or to reach out to our loved ones. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of an emergency until we are notified by one of the countless alerts, alarms, notifications, sirens, text messages, or phone calls that permeate everyday life. Yet most people have only a partial understanding of how such systems make sense of and act upon an “emergency.” In Case of Emergency argues that emergency media are profoundly cultural artifacts that shape the very definition of “emergency” as an opposite of “normal.”
What is the impact of “emergency media” on our lives? Miller Center Senior Faculty Fellow Elizabeth Ellcessor discusses her new book with Miller Center C. K. Yen Professor Aynne Kokas.