Postcards from the city of the homeless subject @ Macquarie University



Tomorrow I will present my work on Homelessness at Macquarie University. Here you can download the flyer of the event, and below you can watch the full presentation (done with Prezi).

More on my research on homelessness, here.

Postcards from the city of the homeless subject

The presentation will begin showing some of the materials collected during a ten months ethnographic fieldwork with homeless people in Turin, Italy. These materials will be presented in forms of interconnected stills, or postcards, picturing the relational entanglements that take place between homeless people and the city. The main aim of the presentation is indeed to blur the canonical distinction between the subject and the city: homeless people are neither only subjects who performs the city (as the “performative” scholarships claim), nor only subjected to the policies of the city (as the “punitive approach” tells), but they constitute their complex and heterogeneous subjectivities with the wider urban environment to which they relate. Engaging with the work of Deleuze and Guattari as well as with critical assemblages thinking, the notion of subjectivity adopted in the research will be sketched and the meaning of the postcards unfolded. In this sense, and through the help of more ethnographic materials, three key-points will be highlighted. First, the role of urban objects in affecting homeless people projects and desires. Second, the role of normative policies in creating negative affective atmosphere for homeless people. Third, the importance of recognizing homeless people own capabilities. The research implications and the political consequences of the proposed approached will be sketched in the final phase of the presentation.


Homeless subject – Seminar in DAB, UTS

Tuesday, 8 May, 2012 – @ UTS, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Building (DAB)

I will talk about:

“The more-than-human city of the homeless subject”

 The seminar will offer an introduction to a topological understanding of urban space, from both the theoretical and methodological points of view. The first part will be dedicated to introducing post-structuralist takes on space, briefly presenting relevant extracts from works by Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari. After a brief introduction on how this theoretical framework proves instrumental in the understanding of the contemporary urban, the presentation will then tackle a central question: how is human subjectivity produced in a more-than-human environment? To offer some answers, an account relating to the lives of homeless people in Turin, Italy will be presented. Highlighting the role of objects and codes in the making of homeless people’s subjectivity, the presentation will conclude with a methodological reflection.

More on my research on homelessness, here.

Schizoanalysis of the homeless subject – AAG 2012


Association of the American Geographers Annual Meeting, Feb.2012 – New York

Schizoanalysis of the homeless subject
Keywords: Homeless people, chance of space, Guattari, abstract machine, subjectivity Type: Paper

This work is based upon a ten months ethnographic enquiry in Turin, North-West of Italy, to interrogate homelessness as a subjective condition that emerges from the entanglements of the individual and the city. The theoretical framework adopted in the work relies on two main points. Firstly, on a “more- than-topological” understanding of space, able to acknowledge the chances that actually reside beyond the curtain of the codified context where homelessness take place in the city. Concerning this point, the paper relies on Guattari’s notion of abstract machine, as devices that concretely “extract” something codifying it into something different. Secondly, the paper investigate homelessness through Guattari’s notion of the subject, arguing that interrogating homelessness in a more-than-human fashion a world of multiples subjects emerges, with various attitudes, capabilities, relational and affective characterizations. The presentation will be tight and filled up with many exemplifications taken from the fieldwork. Its relevance for this particular session should not be seen in its major engagement with Guattari’s work, but in the tentative to translate few Guattari’s ideas into valuable research tools to investigate the contemporary urban and its issues.

More on my work on homelessness, here.

Practicing space, organizing the future – APROS 2012, Auckland

The 14th Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies Conference

Nov 29-Dec 1, 2011 School of Management, Massey University Auckland, New Zealand

Practicing space, organizing the future

Relying on the latest geographical strands on spatial theory, this paper argues that “organization” is a spatio-temporal matter that emerges from the practices through which contexts are built, performed and enacted. Introducing a Lefevbrian-based understanding of social space (Lefebvre, 1991; Soja, 1996), and integrating it with a more-than-human account of relationality (Whatmore, 1999), this work proposes an account of space as a relational more-than-human product that cannot be neither fully controlled nor entirely predictable in its outcomes. Starting from these premises, the question of how we might organize things in space, in order to achieve certain future outcomes, is presented in all its ambiguity. Is it possible to organize space assuming that space is in continuous, unpredictable, motion? Can the future space being imagined and controlled? Is it possible to dissociate organizational aims from the spatial situatedness of the organizer him/her-self?

More on my research on space, here.