The Right to Housing: Home/Homelessness in Precarious Times


Speaker(s): Julia Christensen, Stephanie Grohmann, Fiona Ross, Brian Goldstone, Anne Allison
Readings and registration at!

A home is fundamental to the human condition. And yet many people-over time and across the world today-struggle to find, or keep, this most basic necessity. What does it mean to assert a right to safe, sustainable, affordable housing? And what are the political, ethical, and existential issues raised by its lack or unattainability?

This 2-part event (9/24 & 10/1) will be moderated by Brian Goldstone, a journalist and anthropologist currently writing a book on gentrification, housing insecurity, & the rise of the working homeless, and Anne Allison, Duke anthropologist who has worked on precarity, lonely death, & homeless dead in Japan.

The first session will take up the issue of home & homelessness in global/anthropological perspective by questioning the very parameters of what constitutes "home" in the face of housing precarity. Looking at limit cases of struggles and challenges to find, and maintain, secure dwelling places, discussion will revolve around the everydayness, idealized abstraction, and politics of life incurred in home-making. Amidst encroaching uncertainty worldwide, will the ability to have a home become a luxury relegated to a privileged few or a human right demanded by/for all? The session will be led by three researchers/activists of housing-Julia Christensen (geographer, indigenous Canadian north), Stephanie Grohmann (anthropologist, urban England), & Fiona Ross (anthropologist, South Africa).

Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI)


Cultural Anthropology; Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute (DHRC@FHI); Pauli Murray Project

The Right to Housing: Home/Homelessness in Precarious Times



Rogers, Sarah