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The view from the Traveller site: architecture that begins where the house ends

Hoare, AE; (2016) The view from the Traveller site: architecture that begins where the house ends. Doctoral thesis (PhD), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The thesis explores Traveller sites, seasonal camps, funerary monuments and gifthorses as ‘post-nomadic architectures’: modes of dwelling and sites of personification that make visible the social force of relations between Irish Travellers, and mediate between Travellers and the state, in Ireland and the UK. The metaphoric resources of post-nomadic architectures arise within the recursive variations of movement and camping, which emulate and elicit flows and intensities, divisions and comings-together of the names and embodied substance of Irish Traveller ‘breeds’. In camps, performative speech and symbolic action disclose nuanced dis/continuities of ‘breed’ and ‘back-breed’, directing actors’ understandings of symmetry, continuity and openendedness. When translated into official sites, this field of fractal personhood and relation impels the need for additional architectures as well as regular returns to camping. Funerary monuments, gift cycles of mares and foals, sites and camps form old and new ‘resources for interiority and contexts for self-elaboration’ (Warner 2002: 31), through which Travellers negotiate asymmetries between the public agency of ‘the name’ and the private debts and affections of ‘blood’. Post-nomadic architectures and the body form a distributed field of analogy and metaphor, and are reciprocally constituted as social capacities and sites of personhood and relation. Post-nomadic architectures disclose the interagency of ‘public’-‘private’ worlds that bring each other into being with transformative potential. In 2004, the European Court ruled that the UK’s ‘G/gypsy’ sites were ‘homes’, recognizing their status in the field of the house. The UK site’s material relations of permanent temporariness, contingent on post-nomadic subjectivities, are upheld by psychiatric diagnosis of the ‘Gypsy’s’ ‘aversion to bricks and mortar’. Synecdochal relations between the UK site and the house contrast with Ireland, where ‘permanent Traveller-specific’ architectures encode non-negotiable difference. The house, a legitimate instrument of violence in reserve, enacts a structural fracture in the Irish state which the state is at pains to concede.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: PhD
Title: The view from the Traveller site: architecture that begins where the house ends
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1502110
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