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Title: Strayed homes : a reading of everyday space
Author: Attlee, Edwina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5350 1669
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis puts forward the category of ‘strayed home.’ Might it be possible to locate public spaces which are temporarily transformed by the homely things that take place in them? Places which permit or invite intimate ways of behaving? Through an interrogation of a series of spaces in which people do things in public that might be thought of as private the thesis asks questions about habitual experience of space, about attachments to practices and places. Each chapter presents a close reading of a strayed home that takes into account its cultural representations (in film, literature and advertisements) alongside a reading of the space as the author finds it today. The collision of these imaginary and immediate spaces is explored as inseparable from the way space is experienced. As such the thesis follows the logic and the poetry of everyday speech and imagery and the way realities of expression shape reality. Taking the Jewish tradition of eruv as its starting point the thesis moves from the launderette, to the sleeper-train, the fire escape, the greasy spoon and then to the postcard. Each space (or object) is explored separately but themes that emerge highlight the simultaneous pleasure and trauma involved in the experience of a strayed home. These spaces are at once too small and pleasurably confined, sites of exposure but also encounter, of contagion but also mixing, of solitude and of society. These are spaces which trouble our natural sensitivity to time and space but which permit a certain and rare figuring of the one through the other. The handling of time in these spaces or the way in which they disrupt the handling of time is suggestive for conceptions of home, domesticity and privacy. This investigation suggests that wasted time, as well as the other bodily wastes of dirt, sound and smell, might be integral to what it is that makes a space (temporarily) a home.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available