Call for Chapters
From the Margins: Reimagining global perspectives of home
Co-editors, Lisa Binkley and Katherine Crooks
One of the many unexpected outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a nearly global reimagining of home. Western understandings of home as an intimate, personal space, and as a site of reprieve from the world of labor and public life were subverted, as national stay-at-home orders forced countless employees to reconfigure their homes, both architecturally and conceptually, into semi-public workspaces. Stark inequalities between those who were privileged enough to be able to work from home, those who were forced to continue to work in public spaces, and those who were unhoused altogether poignantly revealed the hierarchies of power associated with individuals’ differing relationships to home. The contingent, constructed, and power-laden nature of commonplace assumptions about home have arguably become more visible to us than ever before.
Historically, the idea that home itself is under siege has often signaled a sea change in cultural values or social practices. Since the nineteenth century, historical processes like industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and decolonization that define the modern era have both destabilized and reified previously existing models of dwelling, intimacy, domesticity, and relationships with place. Anxieties provoked by this kind of even conceptual dislocation highlight, as historians and humanist geographers have observed, the significant place that home occupies in constituting individual, familial, national, and imperial identities, as well as in ordering social relations both inside and outside of domestic space. At the same time, Western understandings of home do not capture the fullness of past and present experiences of home life. Feminist scholars have made the important observation that idealized visions of middle-class, heteronormative domesticity as a recuperative space existing outside of the social world have been inaccessible to most people: for many, particularly, women, children, and people of colour, homes could function as workplaces, as well as sites of discipline, violence and oppression. Inspired by this work, this panel explores ideas of home from the margins, including locations coded as “peripheral,” as well as the perspectives of displaced, colonized, and disenfranchised groups. Papers dealing with questions of housing, domesticity, domestic work, intimate and familial relations, homelessness and housing insecurity, from the nineteenth century to the present day are welcomed. Contributions that address any of these topics in imperial or settler colonial contexts, or dealing with Indigenous or non-Western perspectives on home, are particularly encouraged.
Intention to Contribute
We invite authors from the Humanities and Social Sciences to share expressions of interest for an upcoming edited volume of essays. Expressions of interest should be accompanied by a 350-word abstract and a brief 150-word bio by December 1, 2021. We will notify authors by January 15th, 2022. Publication of the volume is intended for 2023.