Media, Precarity, and the Home

Media, Precarity, and the Home: An Introduction (11th November, 2021)

Anna Viola Sborgi introduces the roundtable with some reflections on the meanings of housing precarity in urban centers and the recent proliferation of images of housing inequality in popular culture.

Is the Home Ever Not Precarious? The Long Arc of Genres of Precarity (12th November, 2021)

Tracing the historical roots of the current cinema of precarity via the image of the tramp, Pamela Robertson Wojcik argues that narratives about the “unhomed” have always been central to American film.

The Precarious Confines of Homeownership and Rights (17th November, 2021)

Caterina Sartori discusses how homeowners on the Aylesbury Estate in South East London have struggled to reclaim their property rights and the right to shape the public image of their home.

Constructing Precarity: Media and Social Housing in the French Banlieue (18th November, 2021)

Can cinema generate alternative visions of precarious life in the banlieue? Isabelle McNeill investigates scenes of domestic interiors that challenge the dominant media imagery of French social housing and its high rise architecture.

Envisioning Precarity in the American Midwest: RoboCop (1987) and the Horror of Vacancy (22nd November, 2021)

Tracing the history of uninhabitable homes in the horror genre, Adam Ochonicky connects Robocop’s narrative of precarious housing to media images of the Midwest as a blank or vacant space.

Home: An Impossible Pursuit? (6th December, 2021)

Anna Viola Sborgi’s introduction to the second round explores intersectionality and social mobility as it relates to home.

Whose Tale Gets Told? The Whitewashing of Homelessness and Mobility (7th December, 2021)

Arguing that mobility has to be understood intersectionally, Pamela Robertson Wojcik shows how Hollywood genres about tramps, hitchhikers, and “street people” overwhelmingly privilege white characters even as film and television have started to pay more attention to female homelessness.

Precarious Tactics of Habitability in the French Banlieue (9th December, 2021)

Drawing on the ideas of Michel De Certeau, Isabelle McNeill discusses filmmaking practices in the banlieue as part of a wider struggle for habitability.

Permanent Precarity: Transient Spaces and Horrific Indebtedness in the Midwest (13th December, 2021)

Adam Ochonicky explores the relationship between mobility and precarity in the Midwestern spaces of It Follows.

A Sense of Place: Repairing, Maintaining and Reimagining Social Housing on Film (14th December, 2021)

Challenging views of social housing as dysfunctional and dystopian, Caterina Sartori examines films that reimagine everyday social space through practices of care, repair and maintenance.