[UPDATE] Topographies of Popular Culture (25-26 Oct 2013; deadline 15 Mar.)

full name / name of organization: 
Unversity of Tampere, Finland
contact email: 
markku.salmela@uta.fi

The conference website has now been opened: http://www.uta.fi/ltl/plural/topographies/. Please follow the link for information about the conference venue, accommodation, registration, and travel.

From the venues of rock festivals and theme parks to the back alleys of Gotham City and the cinematic version of Hogwarts, popular culture contributes to collective perceptions of spatiality and recreates powerful imaginary topographies. Topographies of Popular Culture offers a forum for multidisciplinary discussions of popular culture and space in contemporary American, European and Russian contexts. The conference seeks to explore representations of space as constructed in popular literary and visual genres and digital culture. We invite presentations that examine how space and various popular genres are mutually constitutive in producing "popular" places (physical, social, and imagined) in the cultural and geographical settings of the USA, Europe, and Russia. We are especially interested in discussions and comparisons of "Western" and "Eastern" approaches to space as shaped by discourses of popular culture. In this kind of analysis, space is to be seen as a social construct that still exerts an active, emphatic influence: it both reflects socio-cultural processes and sets conditions for emerging hierarchies, standards, and values.

Topographies of Popular Culture will focus on the relations between popular culture and dynamic spatial practices. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

- the formation of space(s) in popular culture
- space as an interconnected field between popular culture and instances of power (economic, political, symbolic, etc.)
- geographies and archaeologies of space including Orientalism and Occidentalism; colonial, national and imperial space
- gendered and queer popular spaces
- the spaces and places of popular production and consumption
- interrelations between the local and global in popular culture
- connections between literary topoi and spatial topoi in popular fiction
- spatial categories in popular genres (e.g. the fantastic worlds of fantasy; exotic worlds of romance; criminal spaces of detection; monstrous spaces of horror fiction)
- new sites of action in contemporary literary, visual and digital texts
- the "internationalization" of space in popular texts
- utopian and dystopian spaces
- heterotopias and rhizomatics
- the language and semiotics of space and place

The conference languages are English and Russian. Prof. Eliot Borenstein (New York University), Prof. Birgit Neumann (University of Passau), and Prof. Shelley Streeby (University of California, San Diego) will act as keynote speakers.

Proposals for twenty-minute papers in English or Russian are invited from researchers working in cultural, literary, language and translation studies and other disciplines. Please submit an abstract of 250–350 words as a Word file with the author’s name, affiliation, and contact details by 15 March 2013. Contributors can expect confirmation of their papers’ acceptance by 8 April 2013.

The organizers intend to put together a themed volume, in which selected papers will be published as full-length articles.

Contact:
Arja Rosenholm (arja.rosenholm@uta.fi)
Markku Salmela (markku.salmela@uta.fi)
Irina Savkina (irina.savkina@uta.fi)

Organizers

Research program Spaces of Language and Literature
School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies, University of Tampere

Research group Empires of the Popular
School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies, University of Tampere

Research group Kult-tovary: Tendencies and Changes in Contemporary Russian Culture
Russian Language, Culture and Translation, University of Tampere
Department of Contemporary Russian Literature, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St. Petersburg
Faculty of Philology, Ural Federal University, Jekaterinburg
Perm State Humanitarian Pedagogical University

cfp categories: 
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ecocriticism_and_environmental_studies
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
general_announcements
interdisciplinary
international_conferences
modernist studies
popular_culture
postcolonial
science_and_culture
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond