Gender, Place, and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography recently published an academic article that uses the My Dog is My Home art exhibition to study and politicize the human-animal bond in circumstances of homelessness. By using feminist care theory to examine the narratives within the exhibit, the authors challenge conventional views of poverty, property, and relationships that render homeless lives disposable. When asked why she chose to write the article about My Dog is My Home, Kathryn Gillespie--co-author and post-doctoral fellow in Animal Studies at Wesleyan University--stated,
"We have both been so moved by the work you and the experts of My Dog is My Home are doing. We learned a lot that has informed our own respective thinking in animal studies and relational poverty studies from the project."
Read the article abstract below. If you'd like to view the full article and you have access to a university library, click here to be taken to the online journal. If you do not have access to a university library, please contact Kathryn Gillespie at firstname.lastname@example.org for a PDF of the full paper.
‘My Dog is My Home’: multispecies care and poverty politics in Los Angeles, California and Austin, Texas
Kathryn Gillespie & Victoria Lawson (2017): ‘My Dog is My Home’: multispecies care and poverty politics in Los Angeles, California and Austin, Texas, Gender, Place & Culture, DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2017.1339021
My Dog is My Home is an art activist project in Los Angeles dedicated to sharing testimonies about the redemptive bonds of care and love between homeless persons and their canine companions. These testimonies politicize the structural violence and oppressive norms about propertied citizenship and notions of home that operate to render homeless human and animal lives disposable and ungrievable. Informed by the experts’ testimonies on multispecies homelessness and an engagement with feminist care theory, we bring relational poverty studies into conversation with critical animal studies to reject this framing of homeless lives as disposable and to trouble the idea of property as the fundamental basis for value. We problematize these notions by highlighting the insights gained from witnessing the entangled empathetic relationships forged between homeless humans and dogs. These relationships are not only a window into the political economic material conditions and discourses that reproduce homelessness and the animal-as-property. We conclude that studying these bonds offers a collective politics of multispecies mutuality, care, and love.