Precarious Homes – Narratives and Practices of Home-Making in Turbulent Times (Reading Group 1)

Precarious Homes – Narratives and Practices of Home-Making in Turbulent Times (Reading Group 1)
16 April 2021, 3.00pm - 4.00pm
Reading Group

Precarious Homes – Narratives and Practices of Home-Making in Turbulent Times

This event series takes its cue from the CCWW Conference "'Where are you from?' to 'Where shall we go together?' Re-imagining Home and Belonging in 21st-Century Women's Writing", hosted at the IMLR in September 2020. Dedicated to further exploration of literary and theoretical conceptualisations of home-making, the series considers women’s writing in context, using various formats -  reading groups, a symposium, and an author/translator conversation.

Programme of events (pdf)

Reading Group 

Friday 16 & 23 April 2021, 15:00-16:00 BST (Online) 
Organisers: Annette Bühler-Dietrich (Stuttgart) and Maria Roca Lizarazu (Birmingham)

In this first bloc of events on “Precarious Homes”, organised as a Reading Group, we will consider questions of home-making in settings that appear antithetical to the very notion of home: displacement, statelessness and the environment of the camp. 

Recent research in the realm of sociology suggests that camps can produce their own forms of political membership (see Sigona on “campzenship”, 2013). One question that will interest us therefore relates to what – if any – forms of belonging, membership and home-making are possible in settings of displacement and encampment and what corresponding forms of agency might be imaginable particularly, but not solely, in the realm of the arts. 

Precarious Homes 1, 16 April 2021, 15:00-16:00 BST  

In this first session, we will discuss Sulaiman Addonia’s 2018 novel Silence is My Mother Tongue. Addonia’s novel talks of the siblings Saba and Hagos who live in a makeshift refugee camp which comes to establish its own laws and ways of live. It discusses  freedoms and constraints related to gender, sexuality and muteness, since Hagos cannot speak and only gradually learns to write. Composed of short chapters and different voices, the novel finds a form and a poetics to capture the extraordinary state of camp life between social surveillance, hope and kernels of possibilities.

Essential Reading for 16 April
Sulaiman Addonia, Silence is My Mother Tongue (London: Indigo Press, 2018). Relevant extracts will be emailed to all those who have registered 

Further Reading (for both sessions)
Sigona, Nando, ‘Campzenship: Reimagining the Camp as a Social and Political Space’, Citizenship Studies, 19.1 (2015), 1–15.
Lyndsey Stonebridge, Placeless People: Writing, Rights, and Refugees (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).

The second Reading Group in this series will take place on 23 April 2021

All are welcome to attend this free online event, starting at 15:00 BST. You will need to register in advance to receive the online joining link. Please click on the Book Now button below to register

Download guidance on participating in an online event (pdf)


Cathy Collins
020 7862 8738