UPDATE: [Ethnic] Northern Heterotopias

full name / name of organization: 
Jacob Bachinger
contact email: 

University College of the North:
"Northern Heterotopias"
The Pas, Manitoba, Canada, June 4-5, 2009

In a 1967 lecture entitled ‘Of Other Spaces’ [Des espaces autres] Michel
Foucault elaborated on his lifelong fascination with space and spatial
metaphors and presented the idea of heterotopia(s) through which he
challenged dominant, unilateral ways to think about space and place.
Foucault called our attention to the many “counter-sites”, or multiple
imaginations, experiences and inscriptions of space and identity, that
can be found beyond the “fundamentally unreal” discourse of dominant
utopias that seek to define, regulate, and confine particular places and
people. In contrast to utopias, then, heterotopias “juxtapos[e] in a
single real place several spaces, several sites that are themselves
incompatible.” (Foucault, 1986 [1967] p25).
Digressing from Foucault’s original coinage of the term to re-
conceptualize specific sites and places (cemeteries, cinemas, boats,
brothels, etc), we interpret the idea of heterotopia, and the mapping
logic of heterotopology, as an alternative way to think of the experience
of space as a whole, and a conceptual lens through which to analyze and
bring to light the multiple imaginations, experiences, embodiments, and
inscriptions of space and place that are inherent in all sites.
What, then, would a heterotopology of the (idea of) North look like?
For this conference, we invite scholars, artists, storytellers, writers,
poets and activists to examine different ideas, imaginations,
experiences, and inscriptions of the North beyond hegemonic conceptions
(the Great “White” North; hegemonic articulations of indigenism; the
North and its ‘untapped resources’, etc.).
We leave it up to participants to navigate through that contested space
(discursive, physical, human) that is the North, and to identify both
Northern utopias (or hegemonies) and the counter-sites they have
Thus, we hope to bring together a broad range of voices and experiences
that highlight the fundamentally plural (contradictory? cacophonic?
contrapuntal? heteroglossic?) and heterotopic nature of the North.
We are particularly interested in papers that address the following
*Migration, diaspora and metissage
*Critical Indigenous perspectives
*New epistemologies
*Race, gender and sexuality
*Queer Issues
*Globalization and transnationalism
*Art as Resistance
*Critical pedagogies

Works cited: Foucault, M. (1986). ‘Of other spaces’. Diacritics, 16, 22-

To be considered, an abstract or paper must be received no later than
January 15th, 2009.

Submission Detail
The abstract or title page must include:
the name, affiliation, email address and telephone number of the
principal presenter
name(s) of co-presenters/co-authors
a brief biography of each author/presenter
Submissions using one of the following methods:
 Email attachment (PDF or Word) to:
 Fax to:
 Attn: Dr. Samuel Veissiere
(204) 677-6589
 Mail to:

University College of the North
Attn: Dr. Samuel Veissiere
504 Princeton Drive
Thompson MB R8N 0A5
More information available via the University College of the North


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Received on Tue Dec 02 2008 - 16:33:28 EST

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