In 2016, the Barnard Center for Research on Women assembled a Poverty Working Group to examine the state’s neglect and abandonment of poor people, people of color, and people with disabilities. The group asks how can we deepen our understanding of and resistance to the ways that the neoliberal state and racialized, classed, gendered, and ableist logics target the most vulnerable members of our communities for surveillance, control, precarious lives, and premature deaths. In the first public event in this series, scholars and activists who work on issues of housing and homelessness in New York City imagine how we can take an abolitionist approach to resistance and how we can begin to build social systems that offer safety and equal resources to all citizens. Participants include Craig Willse, author of The Value of Homelessness: Managing Surplus Life in the United States.
About the Speaker
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 Worldmaking, Widener Law Review, Against 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.