Oikos: Affects, Economies and Politics of House-ing

OIKOS Poster 2015Un séminaire Princeton University, Museu Nacional (Rio de Janeiro), IRIS

14-16 mai 2015


This seminar explores the house as a key nexus of political-economic and interpersonal/affective realities in flux. We seek to generate knowledge at the intersection of three rarely conversant research areas: the anthropology of family and  kinship (including affect, care, and relatedness); the economic dynamics of households (related to the provision and management of money, the circulation of objects and food, and planning for the future); and the anthropology of public policies and housing (concerning rights, governance, and citizenship).

We draw on oikos, an ancient Greek term, because it suggests a definition of the house not as a bounded unit but as a dynamic relation between the familial spaces of the  home and the public spaces of the polis. In attending to “house-ing” (as a cluster of  material, symbolic, and world-making practices), we aim to apprehend people’s  plasticity within a range of built environments, and to ask how public policies, markets, and city infrastructures become intimate and vital matters. House-ing, in our perspective, is a privileged space to comprehend the production of rationalities among various scales, agents, and agencies—including the people who inhabit and transform their houses and familial ties, community leaders who demand housing policies, recipients of public housing, and experts charged with devising and implementing housing projects, among others.