Fisher Center Explores Austerity and Homelessness – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Fisher Center Explores Austerity and Homelessness

On Wednesday, April 5, the Fisher Center lecture series continues with “Unproductive bodies, undesirable citizens: reconceptualizing displacement in austerity London,” a talk by Kate Hardy, associate professor in work and employment relations at the business school of Leeds University in the United Kingdom.

Hardy’s talk, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the Fisher Center in Demarest Hall Room 212, draws on participatory action research with the Focus E15 housing campaign in east London. Hardy, whose research explores issues of gender, work, employment and collective organizing from a Marxist-Feminist perspective, will examine how the Focus E15 project enables activists to better resist the displacement of individuals and families from the borough.

The homeless in that area are disproportionately female, with dependents (children under 16) and health or disability needs. These citizens are rendered undesirable and unproductive as a result of the disavowal and misrecognition of reproductive labor and the marginalization of people with impairments in the labor market. Led by young working class women from the borough of Newham, the Focus E15 project surveys and interviews those facing homelessness and displacement; the resulting work is used as evidence in demanding decent housing for all.

Examining the theme “No Place Like Home,” the 2016-17 Fisher Center lecture series explores the diverse productions of and investments in the concept of “home” in the context of capitalism and technology, refugee crises and ecological catastrophe, policing and colonialism.

Founded in 1998, the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men brings together faculty, students and experts in gender-related fields in the arts, humanities and social and natural sciences to foster mutual understanding and social justice in contemporary society.