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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2010  /  June 2010  /  Home: Narratives of Exclusion and Renewal

Home: Narratives of Exclusion and Renewal

Packed audience hears Ann Varley’s Inaugural Lecture

Home: Narratives of Exclusion and Renewal

On 3rd June Professor Ann Varley presented her inaugural lecture to a full and appreciative audience in UCL’s Gustave Tuck Theatre. Ann used her personal experience of observing urban renewal during her childhood in Leeds, and her research on formal and informal housing conditions in Mexico, to reflect on contemporary debates about the personal and social significance of the notion of ‘home’. Some have argued that an emphasis on home-ownership and home-based values represents a retreat from communal life and action. Ann presented evidence, however, of the value people place on attachment to their own homes, even in illegal settlements, where they may be relieved of the uncertainties of rental tenure and the social tensions associated with living with others, including family members. She concluded that a balanced understanding is required of the security brought to people’s lives by ‘home’ attachments, as well as the values of voluntary communalism.

Ann was introduced by Professor Mark Maslin, Head of UCL Geography, and the vote of thanks was proposed by Professor Colin Clarke, Emeritus Professor of Geography, University of Oxford.


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