Dr. Robert Ficociello, Assistant Professor of Writing for the School of Arts and Sciences, has co-authored a book titled America’s Disaster Culture: The Production of Natural Disasters in Literature and Pop Culture.
The book is built on the premise that a natural disaster is a commodity produced for public consumption, and in turn, can be used for profit. Ficociello cites examples such as the Cold War, which threatened the “natural” way of life and instated a cultural fear to destroy landscapes, ideals, and symbols. Consequently, he adds, that terrorism and immigration are the new Cold War—an external and internal threat that focuses on our "natural" day-to-day lives, which now revolves around consuming goods. Ficociello notes that in addition to Hollywood profiting from these events, social media, cable news, and politicians produce fear of disasters and reap profits in our disaster economy.