The public humanities is a powerful way to speak to the most pressing problems of our time. My experience in the tiny house movement has been my most significant prompt for public humanities work to date. In 2012, with the help of many friends and family, I built a tiny house out of mostly reclaimed material. I planned to live in the 216 sq. ft. space 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.
Projects like this attract a lot of media attention. The tiny seems quite photogenic!
Currently, 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, just out in hardcopy!