Symposium: Mobilizing Home(s): New Approaches to the Study of Home in Contemporary Literature and Culture

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Aarhus University; University of Koblenz-Landau
contact email: 

Home is a key arena where changes in contemporary societies become a lived experience for the individual. Forms of homemaking can be regarded as a way of dealing with social transformations, whether by positing home as a safe space immune to change, or by adapting it to the requirements of modernization and globalization. The issue of (voluntary or forced) mobility looms large in debates on home, as, for instance, the current migration crisis or the demand for maximum flexibility and mobility of employees in the neoliberal economy shows.

The title of this 2-day-symposium, ‘mobilizing home(s)’, pertains to both the dimension of physical mobility and to the ideological work ‘home’ performs when it is mobilized in specific discourses (e.g. nationalism). We will ask what contributions the study of the arts can make to theorize the complexity of home as a concept and to critically investigate its ideological force. The aim is to enrich existing theories and concepts of home. The complexity of ‘home’ stems from its different dimensions (e.g. spatial, material, social and affective), scales and its positioning at the intersection of different social fields, such as economics, law (home as property), and politics (home and citizenship). Accordingly, new approaches to home may be informed by a wide array of perspectives, ranging from new economic criticism and biopolitics to disability studies, gender studies, critical race theory, or ecocriticism as well as narrative theory and new formalism. We are particularly interested in what the arts bring to the table: how may aesthetic artefacts dealing with home inspire the development of theory? While the dominant focus is on literary and cultural studies, we also welcome contributions from other disciplines that open up a dialogue on theorizations of home.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Forms and strategies of representing home in the arts: Work on current developments in artistic form and/or ways of theorizing different representational strategies (e.g. new approaches to thinking about home as allegory, metonymy and metaphor)
  • Ideologies on the move: work on changing and clashing ideologies of home
  • Moving boundaries: work that reconceptualizes the division between private and public spaces
  • Homelessness as a social problem and challenge: work on representations and theories of homelessness as an extreme state of im/mobility
  • Im/Mobile Bodies and Im/Mobile Homes: work on connections between home making (practices) and embodiment
  • Citizenship and home: Work on the nexus between home as property and notions of citizenship


Visit the symposium website at:

Please send your abstract (ca. 250 words) and a short bio blurb to and by January 15th, 2017.