Early Cultures Graduate Student Conference - April 12-13, 2013. Abstracts due Dec. 3rd.

full name / name of organization: 
Group for the Study of Early Cultures at the University of California, Irvine

2013 Early Cultures Graduate Student Conference: Space and Displacement in Early Cultures. April 12-13, 2013 at the University of California, Irvine.
Keynote: "The Acoustemology of Hell," Drew Daniel, Johns Hopkins
Abstracts due: December 3rd via email to early.cultures.conference@gmail.com.

This conference tracks the exchanges between spaces and displacement, with special attention to the organization of environments and place-making procedures in early cultures. From pilgrimage and crusades to exile and exploration, premodern cultures participated in a range of spatial practices that speak to our contemporary, globalized condition.

In theoretical contexts, non-place refers to the wastelands of supermodernity, from the pseudo-public spaces of malls and shopping courts to islands of exile and abandonment in prison camps and refugee harbors. However, these policed grounds of legal exception have a long history, sprouting from zones of jurisdictional torsion produced by premodern forest, maritime, and ecclesiastical law. Likewise, the complex contours of modern public spaces owe a legal and historical debt to the enclosure of the commons and the sea changes of early capitalism. As such, we practice open zoning, moving from heavily regulated urban spaces, sacred grounds, and the verge to the wild stretches of exception found in forests, liberties, and the high seas. In the absence of precise and coherent legal and cartographical instruments to map the use, nature, and ownership of space, premodern cultures produced broad taxonomies of environments, landscapes, and territories, from the wandering jurisdictions associated with the king's presence to the shelters of sanctuary and pockets of protected illegality within urban spaces. This conference moves beyond the sometimes narrow focus on national territories to interrogate more broadly the fluid environments, mobilization, and organizational space in a range of early cultures.

Suggested topics include:

Urban space, civic space, sovereign space
Sanctuary, refuge, refugees
Sacred and profane space
Pastoral landscapes
Forests, wilderness, wildlife
Maritime scenes, oceans, and waterways
Enclosure and the commons
Cosmology and cartography

Please email submissions to early.cultures.conference@gmail.com. Abstracts must be received by Monday, December 3rd to be considered for inclusion. Authors of accepted papers will be notified no later than February 1st. The UCI graduate community will make every effort to provide accommodations to submitters accepted from outside of the Orange County area.