Seminar: Unmaking the home & the ontology of ‘more-than-human’

On Tuesday 3rd November, Ashraful Alam will present a paper as part of our regular seminar series on “Unmaking the home and the ontology of ‘more-than-human'”.

Ashraful Alam is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography and Planning. His work falls under the broad umbrella of political ecology in urban built environment in the cities of global south. He is particularly interested in the everyday spatial practices of ordinary citizens in transitional spaces that are constantly in flux due to religious and ethnic conflicts, transnational migration or climate change onslaughts.

Seminar date: Tuesday 3 November

Time: 1-2pm

Venue Building W6B, room 320 (no rsvp required – all welcome!)

This is his abstract for the seminar:

This seminar presentation outlines my PhD study that extends previous post-humanist inquiries about home by exploring the human-nature relations in peri-urban home-making processes. I propose that encounters with the non-human nature in everyday negotiations for dwelling offer a non-normative yet useful vantage point to the analysis of home, thereby increasing our understanding of the urban at home’s intersection and its consequences on urban nature. During 2014-2015, the study was performed in thirty-four dwellings in the urban fringes of Khulna City in Bangladesh. A range of behavioural methods, (i.e., photography exercise, cognitive mapping and participants’ observations) followed by reflective conversations has informed this research into the everyday domestic practices of the marginal dwellers.

In this seminar, firstly, I share the experience of doing visual ethnography. Secondly, drawing on evidence from the field I point to some of the emerging themes that shape my forthcoming thesis chapters, in particular: a theoretical claim that nature-culture binaries blur in marginal homemaking processes; and that exploration of the diverse human-nature relations in domestic spaces hints to a non-elitist politics of ‘more-than-human’ that reaffirm habitable spaces in post-human cities producing more nuanced marginalization and appropriation of nature rhetoric.

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