deadline for submissions: 
February 18, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
University of Nottingham

We are excited to announce the CfP for Orientations: A Conference of Narrative and Place, to be held on the 30th and 31st of May 2018 at the University of Nottingham. Orientations is an interdisciplinary, international conference exploring the relationship between narrative, space, and place.

We are further delighted to announce that our first keynote will be delivered by Fiona Mozley, writer of the Booker Prize nominated novel Elmet (2017). Details regarding our second keynote will be released soon.

Orientations will feature a screening of Nature in Mind (2017) by poet Jo Dixon, an important short film that examines mental health through the lens of Nottinghamshire allotments. Complementing this, the conference will close with a reading from poet Aly Stoneman. Aly writes about landscapes, journeys and myths, is the Poetry Editor at LeftLion magazine and has been poet-in-residence for Lyric Lounge (2011) and The Observatory (2016-17).

Conference registration will open in early 2018. Conference fees will be £5, with money going towards travel bursaries. If you wish to attend, but are unable to afford the conference fee, email our organisers and we will discretely waive the fee.

Our relationship to space and place is a continual, evolving, ever-pressing concern. Economic, social and political anxieties are once again being articulated through spatial forms of control: from the restriction of free movement and migration, to surveillance and the nation state, to debates regarding the ownership of space itself. Seemingly fixed markers of place, such as national boundaries or regional borders, are now threatened with increasing volatility. As such, this conference seeks to interrogate the connection between narrative, space and place across disciplines and timeframes.

Due to recent political events, space has once again become an intimate concern for citizens across the globe. These ruptures have deeply affected our relationship with place, as well as made us reevaluate our histories, communities, identities, and everyday conversations. As our sense of self becomes ever more spatially oriented, we invite discussion concerning narratives of lived and imagined experience; in this way the conference addresses the timely need for the convergence of critical practices attuned to both environmental and spatial relations.

This interdisciplinary conference is open to scholars working in Literature, Cultural Studies, Creative Writing, Classics, History, Archaeology, Film Studies, Media Studies, Heritage, Geography, Politics and Sociology. Presentations other than traditional academic papers – e.g. short films, photography, artwork and readings – are heartily welcomed.

Papers of twenty minutes on subjects that might include, but are not limited to:

  • Experiences of place and displacement
  • Psychogeography
  • Travel writing
  • (Post)Colonial spaces
  • Politics and place: Brexit, borders, Catalan, the Archipelago.
  • Ecocriticism
  • (Dis)ability and Space
  • Gendered or queer spaces
  • The domestic
  • The unknown
  • Public and private
  • Geocriticism
  • Classed Spaces
  • Indigenous perspectives
  • The rural and/or the urban
  • Race, citizenship, nation

Papers and Creative Work.

Individual papers and creative pieces should be twenty minutes in length. Please send send an abstract of no more than 250-300 words.


Panel presentations should be sixty minutes in length. Please send an abstract of no more than 800 words. All male panels will not be accepted.

Please email abstracts to orientations2018@gmail.com with a biography of no more than 100 words per person.

The CfP closes on the 1st of February 2018. Decisions will be made in early March. If you have any access requirements, please email us and we will do our best to accommodate you.