The Personal is Political Revisited: Investigating Notions of Place and Space, October 6th 2012

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School of Arts, University of Northampton

"It is at this point a political action to tell it like it is, to say what I really believe about my life instead of what I've always been told to say."

Carol Hanisch, "The Personal is Political" 1969

"We [need to] recognise space as the product of interrelations; as constituted through interactions, from the immensity of the global to the intimately tiny."

Doreen Massey, "Space, Place and Gender" 1995

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jenny Bavidge, University of Cambridge

When Carol Hanisch published her essay 'The Personal is Political' in the feminist collection _Notes from the Second Year_, its title was swiftly adopted as the slogan for the women's liberation movement whose supporters demanded equality at all levels of society: at work, in the home, and legislatively. Revisiting the concept of the personal as political and considering its effect on the perception and experience of space and place is the focus of this one-day interdisciplinary event.

We draw upon existing dialogue in the field, from activists like Carol Hanisch to academics such as Doreen Massey, to generate discussion and inspire practical work on this topic. We aim to reflect upon the ways that engaging with power structures informs space and place in practice and theory. In creating art and formulating bodies of thought in the context of war, globalization, and incredible political apathy, it is important to ask what it means to spatially locate the self in the social structures on which we build our research and base our practice. We extend our consideration of politicised space to include the experience of other marginalized groups such as postcolonial subjects and migrants, as well as people outside of mainstream communities, like prostitutes or prison inmates. We are interested in understanding the ways that academic exploration and artistic practice contests marginal spaces.

We invite 250 word abstracts for twenty-minute papers from postgraduate students and early career researchers across the disciplines whose work engages with the ways that the personal as political can be spatially conceived. We also encourage collaborative proposals. Submissions should include your name, affiliation, and the title of your paper. Please send abstracts, and direct queries, to Lisa Robertson (lisa.robertson [at] Deadline for proposals is 5 August, 2012.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Representations of politicized space in film, literature or art;
The built environment and the formation of identity;
Spatial considerations of artistic medium or academic form;
Exiles, migrants and spatial rebellion;
Urban spaces: suburbs, slums and squares;
Travel and mutable space;
The spatial effects of protest, occupation or riot.

Organisers: Anna Maria Everding, Elena Marcevska and Lisa Robertson

This event is generously supported by the School of Arts, University of Northampton Research Fund.