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IAS Public Lecture – Living in the ‘hum’: precarious lives and personal possessions.

February 24, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Public Lecture by Professor Nicolas Blomley, Simon Fraser University.

Imagine a life in which your personal possessions are in constant risk of loss, seizure, theft, or destruction. For most of us, this is a rare event. But for precariously housed people, living outside, in shelters, and private rental housing, this is a constant reality, a ‘hum’, as one of my informants described it: ‘It’s the same story, over and over again by different people, but it’s the same story: ‘Oh, my God, they took my stuff… Oh, my God, they stole my stuff’. Drawing from a current research project on Canadian cities, I provide an introduction to the ‘hum’, noting evidence of widespread destruction, seizure, and theft; associated violations of equality and dignity rights; the significance of the belongings to their owners; and the heightened vulnerability that the loss of their belongings may place people in. There is a significant lack of scholarly and policy attention given to the issue. I lay out some preliminary concepts for the analysis of this important topic, focusing on critical legal geography, evaluation, governance, and personhood.

The Lecture is free and open to all.

The Lecture will take place on Zoom. To register please click here.


February 24, 2021
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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