The public humanities is a powerful way to speak to the most pressing problems of our time, as my experience in the tiny house movement confirms. In 2012, with the help of many friends and family, I built a 216 sq. ft. tiny house on wheels out of mostly reclaimed material to live in for the length of my PhD studies. I envisioned the tiny house as a way to live a little lighter and learn in what ways formal study can be acted in the every day. It taught me so, so much more.
Projects like this attract a lot of media attention, Most recently, I was interviewed by Die Zeit – the segment on the tiny house movement begins around 20:10. Much more of my public-facing work with tiny houses is listed here under “Appearances and Interviews” and my writing is linked below.
I am most interested in the tiny house movement’s whiteness problem. Visit my academia.edu site to read more about how the experiences in living in a tiny house, and moving in the tiny house movement, inform my scholarly thinking on the 19th century literature (and here), the aesthetics of sustainability, and issues like housing justice. My two most recent publications are: “The Patron Saint of Tiny Houses,” in Cambridge University Press’ Literature in Context series on Henry David Thoreau, which explores the relationship between the tiny house movement and the oft-cited grandfather of the American tiny house movement, and a chapter in Routledge’s Environmental Humanities series collection on Degrowth, a movement with a complex relation to the whiteness of environmental ethos!
Check out my blog to find out more about my experience building and living in this 216 sq foot house on wheels. More photos here.