CfP: The Spatial Turn in Literary Theory - Deadline: 09/30/2010

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Northeast Modern Language Association, April 7-10, 2011

Call for Papers
42nd Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 7-10, 2011
New Brunswick, NY – Hyatt New Brunswick
Host Institution: Rutgers University

The Spatial Turn in Literary Theory

Broadly construed as a major shift in focus and trajectory, the so-called "spatial turn" describes a move away from questions of time and chronology towards those of space and topography. In recent years, a wide range of disciplines from the social sciences to the humanities have turned to the relevance of space (and topography) as constitutive of society, culture, and knowledge.

We welcome proposals for interdisciplinary papers that critically examine theoretical attempts to conceptualize spatiality, and critically evaluate the significance of the spatial turn for literary theory. At the same time we invite reflections of spatial constructions in literary texts: In what ways do literary texts conceptualize and sometimes transgress their own spatial order, and how are these imaginary spaces related to theoretical understandings of the spatial? Contributions may range from a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to philosophy (Kant, Descartes, Heidegger), psychoanalysis (Lacan, La topique de l'imaginaire), phenomenology (Bachelard, La poétique de l'espace), feminism (Kristeva's and Irigaray's revisions of Plato's Chora), poststructuralism (Deleuze/Guattari, Mille Plateaux; Foucault, Des Espaces autres), everyday culture (Lefebvre, La production de l'espace and de Certeau, Pratiques d'espace), anthropology (Augé, Non-Lieux), and the theory of architecture (i.e. the collaboration between Jacques Derrida and Peter Eisenman).

This seminar addresses the significance of the so-called "spatial turn" for literary theory. We welcome proposals for papers that examine theoretical attempts to conceptualize spatiality, but are also interested in papers that focus on specific spatial constructions in exemplary literary texts. Please send 300-400 word abstract to Nicola Behrmann ( or Julia Weber (

Deadline: September 30, 2010

Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

The 42nd Annual Convention will feature approximately 360 sessions, as well as dynamic speakers and cultural events. Details and the complete Call for Papers for the 2011 Convention will be posted in June:

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable. Do not accept a slot if you may cancel to present on another session.