Date of Award

December 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Anne Bonds

Committee Members

Kristin Sziarto, Rina Ghose, Tracey Heatherington, Jenna Loyd


Anarchism, Biopolitics, Care, Homelessness, Las Vegas, Necropolitics


This project interrogates the tensions surrounding food provision in Las Vegas, Nevada. More precisely, groups of ad hoc individuals, unaffiliated with local shelters or social service provision agencies intervene in homelessness and hunger in the city by showing up in places where homeless individuals congregate and provide food, water, basic medical sundries and companionship to those on the streets. Conversely, local officials and shelter administrators conceptualize these activities as damaging to homeless individuals and have acted to prohibit these acts of care. Engaging with key contributions in the geographic literature, I employ specific frameworks - critical poverty research, disciplinary bio- and necropolitical regimes and the politics of affective anarchism - to argue that the spatial practices of the local state in preventing these acts is not premised on a revanchist urge to sanitize the city and make it fit for capital accumulation. Rather, I argue that the disruption of ad hoc networks of care is better read as a disciplinary regime directed at a specific segment of the homeless population - the service resistant - ushering in a nascent urban necropolitics.

Included in

Geography Commons