Spring 2020

American Housing: Foundations and Futures

Listed in: Anthropology and Sociology, as ANTH-308  |  Anthropology and Sociology, as SOCI-309


Allison B. Formanack (Section 01)


The 2007/08 collapse of the U.S. housing market and subsequent global recession transformed the social, economic, and cultural significance of “home” as millions of Americans went into foreclosure, the rate of homeownership plummeted, and emergent minimalist and “Tiny Home” movements garnered widespread appeal. This course considers the “home” as an object in transition and as a concept that shapes our understanding of identity, family, community, and nation. From foundational kinship, feminist, and poststructuralist theorists to more recent ethnographic and popular media texts, we will survey the shifting terrain of American housing form and policy across a range of topics such as redlining and racial segregation, suburbanization and gentrification, homelessness and new directions in cooperative or micro-living. Students will lead classroom discussions, critically analyze texts, meet local housing advocates and builders, and work collaboratively on these themes, culminating in a final project that will attempt to answer the question: how can we solve today’s local, national, and global housing crises?

Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Formanack.

If Overenrolled: Junior and senior Anthropology majors will have first priority.

Cost: 150 ?


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Issues of Social Justice, Attention to Research, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020