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Topologies of dwelling: re-imagining domestic space

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Elaine Campbell


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This chapter engages with the notion of dwelling as a topological space of being with and acting in the world. Dwelling denotes both the materialities, technologies and architectures which assemble domestic space, and the affective, performative, discursive and socio-cultural relations which animate it as a space of belonging, identity and meaning-making. Dwelling, then, signifies a `place called home’ (Massey, 1992), but is anathema to the idea of a static and bounded site of domesticity. Rather, dwelling emerges from a relational space of fluid and contingent dis/alignments and takes shape not only in the entanglements and hybridities of a multiplicity of spatial logics – inside/outside; proximate/distant; private/public; virtual/actual; intensive/extensive – but is also forged from a nexus of interacting co-constitutive elements which are both material and cultural, technological and affective, human and nonhuman. Topologies of dwelling offer criminologists creative ways for reimagining the spatial dynamics of criminogenic and victimogenic domestic worlds, and bring fresh insights to our critical engagements with questions of privacy, surveillance, risk, security, justice and power. Focusing on the topological imaginaries of two cinematic dwellings – Anon (2018), and The Invisible Man (2020) - the chapter explores their complex enfoldings of domestic space, not regarded here as fantastical and futuristic, so much as emblematic of how we navigate and experience the ambiguities and instabilities of contemporary modes of dwelling.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Campbell E

Editor(s): Davies P; Rowe M

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: In Press

Book Title: A Criminology of the Domestic

Year: 2023

Acceptance date: 13/01/2022

Publisher: Routledge

Place Published: London