Call for Posts: On Dwellings

Call for Posts (c. 300-500 words*)

Theme: DWELLINGS

‘Well, I think home spat me out, the blackouts and curfews like tongue against loose tooth’

― Warsan Shire, ‘Conversations About Home (At the Deportation Centre)’

‘the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

Gaston Bachelard claims that the significance of the material house is interwoven into our being from birth as something which protects us from harm. He argues that: ‘Without it, man would be a dispersed being. […] It is the human being’s first world. […] Life begins well, it begins enclosed, protected, all warm in the bosom of the house’ (1958, 29). Like most conceptualisations of dwellings, Bachelard presents the home as a space of sanctuary and peace; a guard to protect us from the harshness and dangers of what exists (or could exist) outside of it. bell hooks provides a modern-day example of this distinction as she describes that black women living in Newark, USA were able to use their homes as sites of resistance and escape from the racist violence and intolerance present outside of their community dwellings. What are other examples of dwellings being used as sites of activism and empowerment? What is the relationship between homemaking and mental health?

Paolo Boccagni argues that home is ‘a special kind of relationship to space’ (2017: 2); however, that relationship may not be completely positive or fixed. Moreover, not all homes are innately granted with characteristics of refuge and peace. What about those sharing a home with a domestic abuser? What about refugees forced to reside in precarious dwelling spaces? Can one feel ‘at home’ in a hostile environment?

Submissions are open to, but not limited to, short blog posts which explore the following themes:

  • Homes as sites of resistance and activism
  • Gendered experiences of home
  • Ecoconscious dwellings
  • Unsafe homes: domestic abuse, familial conflicts etc.
  • Homelessness
  • Home and (un)belonging
  • (Mis-)Representations of dwellings in fiction, films, music, art, and poetry.
  • Homesickness/Hiraeth
  • (In)accessible architecture
  • LGBTQIA+ safe spaces
  • Mental health and home
  • Memories of home
  • Home and the senses
  • Refugees and homemaking: refugee camps, detention centres, hostile environments.
  • Virtual Homes and Gaming
  • The relationship between home and objects

Email your submissions to a.j.mathers@soton.ac.uk with your name and institutional affiliation.

*We also welcome posts longer than this range.