Dean's Lecture Series with Nicholas Blomley

Lewis Williams, President of Downtown Tenants Association, addresses meeting

Online - ABP Zoom Webinar

Dean's Lecture Series

Please join us for the Melbourne School of Design's Dean's Lecture Series

Making property outlaws: law and relegation
(Authors Nick Blomley and the Right to Remain Collective)

Drawing from community-based research in the poorest part of Vancouver, Canada, a neighbourhood long demonized as an ‘outlaw zone’, we suggest that what may appear to be illegal property practices in the area's infamous Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels are, in fact, harder to detach from formal legality than supposed. We characterize the state’s withdrawal of tenancy law to SRO in the 1970s as productive of property outlaws. A form of legal relegation, outlawry places SRO residents in a space of lesser protection, stripping them of rights. A space of decades of systematic legal relegation, the outlaw zone is a product of law, not its antithesis, predicated on organized forms of devaluation and discrimination.

Nicholas Blomley

Nicholas Blomley (FRSC)
: Professor of Geography at Simon Fraser University. I have a long standing interest in legal geography, particularly in relation to property. I am interested in the spatiality of legal practices and relationships, and the worldmaking consequences of such legal geographies. Much of my empirical work concerns the often oppressive effects of legal relations on marginalized and oppressed people. Recent and current research projects, often in collaboration with others, include a) the analysis of ‘rental precarity’ in Greater Vancouver; b) the study of court-imposed ‘red zones’ imposed on street-involved people and protestors in Montreal and Vancouver; c) the dispossession of Japanese-Canadians in the 1940s; d) a community-based project creating tenant-led research into precarious housing conditions in Vancouver’s most vulnerable population and e) the governance of poor people’s possessions by private and public regulators in Canadian cities. I am also trying to unpack the relationship between territory and property, and is interested in the practice of urban commoning. Past research has focused on topic such as gentrification, panhandling, urban gardening, and indigenous-state treaties.

Organizing notice for Downtown Tenants Association, 1970

Organizing notice for Downtown Tenants Association, 1970: City of Vancouver Archives S518 Rental Accommodation Grievance Fonds. Photograph taken by member of Right to Remain Research Collective).

Lewis Williams, President of Downtown Tenants Association, addresses meeting

Lewis Williams, President of Downtown Tenants Association, addresses meeting (material republished with the express permission of: The Vancouver Sun, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.)


Date: Tuesday, 19 October, 2021
Time: 12:00 - 13:00 AEDT* Melbourne
Event type: Zoom Webinar - Once you have registered for the event, the event link will be sent to you via your Eventbrite confirmation and reminder emails.

* Vancouver - Monday, 18 October 2021 at 18:00 PDT
* Singapore - Tuesday, 19 October 2021 at 09:00 SGT
* London - Tuesday, 19 October 2021 at 02:00 BST
* Dubai - Tuesday, 19 October 2021 at 05:00 GST
* New York - Monday, 18 October 2021 at 21:00 EDT

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