CFP: Defining Space (Ireland) (3/31/07; 10/12/07-10/13/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Hugh Campbell
contact email:

Call for Papers

Defining Space
International Interdisciplinary Conference
Newman House, University College Dublin
Friday 12-Saturday 13 October 2007

This conference sets out to investigate the meaning and role of space
in contemporary cultural theory and practice. Often invoked as the key
parameter for understanding twentieth-century culture, does space
retain this centrality today? In the mid-1940s, such influential
exponents of modernist culture as Sigfried Giedion, Clement Greenberg
and Joseph Frank asserted the primacy of space in the theory and
practice of architecture, art and literature respectively, defining
the modern by divorcing it from temporal or historical forms of
understanding. Since the 1970s, however, space has been increasingly
problematised: imploded through technological acceleration (Virilio),
emptied out by the circulation of consumer goods (Baudrillard),
transformed into a trap through surveillance (Foucault), or
manipulated to conceal profound economic transformations (Fredric
Jameson and David Harvey). The once reassuringly neutral category of
space has been unmasked as uncanny and warped (Anthony Vidler),
inflected by relations of gender (Doreen Massey) and race (Homi
Bhabha). After a century largely devoted to thinking and creating in
spatial terms, does space remain a viable paradigm or has it reached a
point of exhaustion, simultaneously banal and fraught?

The aim of this conference is to investigate the current relevance of
the spatial paradigm in theory and practice across the arts and social
sciences. It seeks to do so through an exploration of four
interrelated themes: experience (the existential interaction between
individuals and communities and the spaces they inhabit), construction
(the making and remaking of those spaces), representation (the
depiction of those spaces in the media and the arts), and theorisation
(the conceptual understanding of space in relation to its experience,
construction and representation). Although not seen as exhaustive,
when taken together these four themes, and the continuities and
tensions between them, provide a framework for thinking about the
relations between theory and practice, the academy and the artworld,
the arts and social sciences, the social and the aesthetic. Scholars
and practitioners in all fields are invited to propose papers that
address any aspect of space in the modern and contemporary period.
Proposals for panels mixing theory/criticism and artistic and/or
architectural practice are particularly welcome.

Confirmed keynote speakers to date include: Barry Bergdoll (Columbia
University/MoMA, New York), Steve Pile (Open University, UK), Anthony
Vidler (The Cooper Union, New York)

For further enquiries, please contact Dr Hugh Campbell, UCD School of
Architecture, Landscape and Civil Engineering (
or Dr Douglas Smith, UCD School of Languages, Literatures and Film
( or consult the website Please submit proposals for
papers (300 words maximum) and panels (of maximum three participants
with individual abstracts) by e-mail to both of the above addresses by
31 March 2007.
--Dr. Hugh CampbellSenior Lecturer, ArchitectureUCD School of Architecture, Landscape and Civil Engineering,Richview, Clonskeagh,Dublin 14Ireland ========================================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List Full Information at or write Jennifer Higginbotham: ==========================================================Received on Fri Mar 09 2007 - 00:52:45 EST

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