Novel Spaces: Capitalism, Technology

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Brandeis University English Department

Novel Spaces: Capitalism, Technology, Community

Organization: Brandeis English Department Graduate Student Conference Date: March 24th, 2018
Contact Email:
Keynote: Homi K. Bhabha, Harvard University

Submission deadline for roundtable and presentations extended to January 15th, 2018!

The concept of space contains a multiplicity of intersecting, even contradictory, lines of inquiry. Space can include and exclude; it can demarcate borders either real or imaginary. It is also interdisciplinary in its scope: the physical confinement of the prison, the immensity of cyberspace, and the imagined communities of the modern nation-state comprise just a few of the ways in which spatial relations inform––and give form to––our lives.

Our 2018 conference seeks to interrogate various cultural and political spaces as well as their representations in literature. Please send a 250-300 word abstract for your 15- minute presentation to by January 5, 2018. Proposals should include a working title for the paper along with the presenter’s name, institutional affiliation (including department), and e-mail address. Since this is a graduate conference, preference will be given to graduate students; however, we welcome proposals from graduating undergraduates, independent scholars, and others who do not fit in these categories.

Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to,

  • representations of spatial relations in literature

  • globalization

  • space and technology

  • prisons and confinement

  • the nation-state

  • shifting boundaries between public and private spaces

  • gentrification

  • colonialism, neocolonialism, and indigenous spaces

  • geographical studies

  • “safe spaces”

  • world-building games

  • borders, boundaries, and maps

  • embodiment

  • imagined communities

  • surveillance

  • (im)migration and citizenship

  • the refugee crisis

  • outer space

  • utopian or dystopian spaces

  • virtual reality



Technological advancements and the discourses surrounding them are constantly evolving and urgently affect our day to day lives. This roundtable discussion will seek to explore the idea of space as it relates to technology and late capitalism. Participants will submit 5-minute papers on this topic for circulation, addressing these or related questions: What do online spaces mean for marginalized communities and material political action? How have public and private spaces been altered by the rise of government and corporate surveillance, and how is this surveillance reinforced through neoliberal ideas of self-management? What new spaces, either physical or abstract, have been created by the rise of global capitalism? While our conversation will tend to focus on core economic nations, it is important to keep in mind that those on the economic periphery experience late capitalism in markedly different ways.

Please feel free to submit only to the roundtable discussion panel or in addition to submitting a 15-minute paper.

200-word abstracts for roundtable: January 5, 2018 Papers submitted for pre-circulation: February 24, 2018

For more information, please contact the conference organizers, Kalee Hall, or Dominick Knowles,, or visit our website: