Calls for papers – Accommodating Strangers? Home, Belonging and the Politics of (In)Hospitality'

WORKSHOP, Thursday 15 December 2011
RHUL@Bedford Square, 2 Gower Street, London, WC1E 6DP
Once cast in the 1970s and 1980s as the epitome of individual freedom, a place liberated and isolated from fear and anxiety, the home has been re-conceptualised by social scientists as a deeply political space where the personal relations it plays host to transect public worlds. With ideas of the domestic applicable across scales from the house, neighbourhood, city to nation, this workshop explores home as the meeting place and metaphorical gateway of ‘guest’/‘host’ interactions in the modern world. The interdisciplinary event hones in on domestic practices of (in)hospitality that shape, and are shaped by, contemporary (geo)-political processes of, amongst others, conflict, asylum and mobility.
Call for papers:
Abstracts of 150 words are welcomed from scholars of PhD level and higher, although it should be noted that due to the nature of the event, there will only be a limited number of presentation sessions.
Closing date:
Friday, 14 October 2011.
To express interest in the workshop/series or submit an abstract contact: Katherine
Brickell (
Information about my research:
This workshop was inspired by my research, which broadly focuses on critical geographies of home. I have just had a Progress in Human Geography paper published on this topic:
Brickell, K. (2011). ‘Mapping’ and ‘Doing’ Critical Geographies of Home. Progress in Human Geography. Published online before print August 24, 2011, doi: 10.1177/0309132511418708 (
The paper reviews the diverse literatures on negative experiences of home at the domestic scale and sets out an agenda to further ‘critical geographies of home’. Tying into broader debates in critical geography on the delineations between the ‘mapping’ of exclusionary landscapes versus the ‘doing’ of something to transform them, the paper finds that the line between these two modes should not always be dichotomously drawn. I argue that now is the time that the burgeoning interest in, and catalogue of research on, home is capitalized upon by pushing towards a critical geography that simultaneously illuminates and catalyses the addressing of domestic injustice.
This paper was informed by my research in Cambodia on domestic life. This included my doctorate which I finished in 2007 at the London School of Economics on gender relations in the Khmer home and further research projects including one I am just finishing on material cultures of abandonment, separation and divorce. I am about to start a new 3-year ESRC-DFID grant on domestic violence and the legal politics surrounding it. Check out:
Brickell, K. (2008). ‘Fire in the House’: Gendered Experiences of Drunkenness & Violence in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Geoforum 39(5): 1667-1675.
Brickell, K. (2011). The ‘Stubborn Stain’ on Development: Gendered Meanings of Housework (Non)-Participation in Cambodia. The Journal of Development Studies, 47: 9, 1353-1370.
I have also been involved in work for the past three years in Vietnam researching with the use of participatory video ‘Happy Family’ competitions and I am about to start work in Ho Chi Minh City on love with Katie Willis and Vandana Desai in which material cultures form a key part of the study. Lastly, I am currently writing about ideas concerning home interiors, nationalism and identity through the art photography of Simryn Gill.
If you are interested in learning more about my work, please contact