External CFP: The Poetics of Space

Centre for Studies in Literature University of Portsmouth

Thursday 29th May 2014

The Poetics of Space in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Culture.

Keynote Speaker: Professor Ben Highmore (Sussex)


In The Poetics of Space (1958), Gaston Bachelard asserts that ‘setting’ is more than ‘scene’ in works of art; that it is often the armature around which the work revolves. At this conference we will examine what happens within the cultural space and assess its relationship with place. We aim to investigate the physical and conceptual boundaries of the artistic form and determine where art and literature takes place. This conference seeks postgraduate researchers who are exploring the significant and dynamic relationships between the co-ordinates of space, place, movement and thought in twentieth and twenty-first century culture. In addition to work questioning aesthetic and fictional constructions of space in literature and literature in space, we also welcome papers that discuss how visual media challenge conventional uses of space and manipulate our conceptions of inclusion and exclusion. This conference encourages papers that approach the text from inside and outside challenging traditional disciplinary boundaries.

We invite submissions of 250 word abstracts for original academic papers of twenty minutes on the conference theme. We encourage participation from graduate students of any discipline, including but not limited to literature, film studies, visual culture, gender studies, and cultural studies. Topics might address but are not limited to:

– Heterotopia and the Third Space

– National boundaries & the formulation of national identities

– Fantastic or otherworldly spaces

– Gendered spaces: domestic space and female interiority

– Designed spaces: architecture; the landscape of the city; maps and cartography

– Imperialism, exploration, navigation, and colonization

– Transgressive spaces and Liminality

– Materiality of the text

– Sacred and religious spaces

– Historical conceptions of space

– Psychogeography

– The aesthetics /theory of space: the ‘spatial turn’ in literature and cinema.

Please send submissions and a brief bio to cslpgconf@port.ac.uk by 1st March 2014.

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