Homes for All, Cages for None: Housing Justice in an Age of Abolition

Christina Heatherton and Craig Willse

Public housing protest photo From the right’s calls for increased deportations to immigration bans, from the failure to assist communities impacted by hurricanes and earthquakes from Florida to Mexico to Puerto Rico to the Caribbean, from the ongoing the public housing crisis in New York City to the devastating proposed healthcare bills, we are witnessing an escalation of the state’s neglect and abandonment of poor people, people of color, women, trans and queer people, and people with disabilities.

On Tuesday, October 10, activist scholars Christina Heatherton and Craig Willse join us to discuss approaches to examining and resisting the racialized, classed, gendered, and ableist logics of the neoliberal state that target the most vulnerable members of our communities for surveillance, control, precarious lives, and premature deaths.
Together, Heatherton and Willse they will discuss how we can take an abolitionist approach to resisting these threats and building social systems committed to safety and resources for all.
This event is the first public event from the BCRW Poverty and Public Housing Working Group. Stay tuned for future events in this series.


About the Speakers

Craig Willse is the author of The Value of Homelessness: Managing Surplus Life in the United States (University of Minnesota Press, 2015). He is co-editor, with Patricia Clough, of Beyond Biopolitics: Essays on the Governance of Life and Death (Duke University Press, 2011). Willse also works in queer/LGBT studies in an on-going collaboration with legal scholar Dean Spade. Their joint writing has appeared in QED: A Journal in GLBTQ WorldmakingWidener Law ReviewAgainst Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage (ed. Ryan Conrad, 2010) and Left Turn. Their multi-media project Free State Epitaph has been produced and screened in New York, Berkeley, Seattle, and Kansas City, MO. Willse’s scholarship is informed by his political work outside the academy, which has included community organizing around housing access, social movements for trans justice and prison abolition, and queer anarchist anti-war activism. As Associate Professor at George Mason University, he is a faculty adviser to GMU Students Against Israeli Apartheid.

Christina Heatherton is an Assistant Professor of American Studies at Barnard. She is a scholar and historian of anti-racist social movements.  Her classes challenge students to think independently, work collaboratively, and remain accountable to the communities in which they live and work. She is completing her first book, The Color Line and the Class Struggle: The Mexican Revolution, Internationalism, and the American Century (University of California Press, forthcoming). With Jordan T. Camp she recently edited Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (Verso Books, 2016). Her work appears in places such as American Quarterly, Interface, The Rising Tides of Color: Race, State Violence, and Radical Movements Across the Pacific, edited by Moon-Ho Jung (University of Washington Press, 2014) and will appear in venues such as Feminists Rethink the Neoliberal State: Inequality, Exclusion and Change, edited by Leela Fernandes (New York University Press, forthcoming) and Futures of Black Radicalism, edited by Gaye Theresa Johnson and Alex Lubin (Verso Books, forthcoming). She has been featured on national news programs such as Democracy Now!, Against the Grain, and The Real News Network. Her writing also appears in popular venues such as Funambulist Magazine, The Washington Spectator, and 032 Magazine. With Jordan T. Camp she previously co-edited Freedom Now! Struggles for the Human Right to Housing in LA and Beyond (Freedom Now Books, 2012). She is the editor of Downtown Blues: A Skid Row Reader (Freedom Now Books, 2011).

This venue is accessible to people with mobility disabilities. For additional accessibility requests, please contact at your earliest convenience.
This event is free and open to the public. RSVP is preferred but not required and seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis.