ACLA 2013 seminar: Spatial Narratives (Deadline: November 15, 2012)

full name / name of organization: 
Ben Miller, Georgia State University
contact email: 

This is a call for papers for a panel at the annual American Comparative Literature Conference which will be held at University of Toronto, April 4 - 7, 2013. The abstracts need to be submitted on the ACLA website: <> by November 15, 2012.

Panel Title: Spatial Narratives

Locating events temporally and sequentially is standard fare for interpretive storytelling from the literary to the scientific. Interpretive modes based on spatial organization via cartography or diagramming have become more pervasive as tools improve, thereby leading to a spread of conceptual frameworks reliant on spatiality. This panel seeks papers that put narratology in conversation with spatialized modes of telling. Narrative, from the Latin, narrare, "to tell," is related to the adjective gnarus, "knowing," or "skilled." This connection within "narrative" between knowing and telling implies that narration is a mode for constructing shared understandings of events and spaces. Maps work similarly, as data is put in relation so as to allow for interpretation of diverse social, environmental, epidemiological, and literary complexities. Work in this mode emerges from theory (Bahktin), literary studies (Moretti), history (Ayers), information analysis (Palantir's Gotham), social network analysis (Adamic to the Web Ecology Project), and crisis intervention (Ushahidi). Broadly, this panel aims to explore narratological understandings of etiological, temporal, and sequential meaning production and the imposition of story structure when performed in a spatial manner at the level of surfaces, maps, screens, technical images, and diagrams.

This seminar invites papers addressing the topic from a range of theoretical and critical approaches with an emphasis on narratology to a variety of genres and modes of discourse (poetic, scientific, narrative, fantastic, mythic, prophetic, digital, augmented reality, theoretical, technical, political, etc.). Papers considering non-European approaches to space are particularly welcome, as are papers considering technical aspects of spatial and visual logic.