Literary Spaces of Resistance: Essays on Transformative Spatiality in Literary and Political Discourse

deadline for submissions: 
August 26, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Christian Beck
contact email: 

Literary Spaces of Resistance: Essays on Transformative Spatiality in Literary and Political Discourse


The effects of postcolonialism, technology, and neoliberalism have highlighted the importance of spatial analysis, particularly in literary and cultural studies. This so-called “spatial turn” has brought significant attention to the ways in which spaces and places construct identities, behaviors, expectations, communication, and politics. Attention to geographical, cultural, and sociological spaces in literature introduce readers to the realities of many identities that are overlooked, underrepresented, or oppressed. Similarly, spatial analysis has also been linked to the recent rise in studies of resistance to dominant and oppressive power. However, more can be said about literature’s role in the potentiality of space, spatial production, and a politics of resistance. Specifically, literature can be an avenue towards radical politics through its spatial awareness, production, and potentiality.

            This volume is looking for authors to explore the spaces of resistance within literature and their effects beyond text. Radical spaces in literature are not just defined by their alterity, but also by their potentiality for new politics, ideas, actions, and/or identities. The “greenwood” of Robin Hood, the isle in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the sewers and cellars of George Lippard’s The Quaker City, or a simple brownstone in Sarai Walker’s Dietland might not appear as radical spaces in themselves, but their potential for producing cultural shifts both within and outside of the literary text becomes an important element of literary production. This collection of essays will address how these radical literary spaces produce new ways of viewing issues within cultural discourse vis-à-vis resistance—i.e., gender, sexuality, body image, race, class, disability/accessibility, capitalism, surveillance, democracy, immigration, politics, the nation-state, technology, media, digital culture, globalization, climate change, food production/waste, trauma, war, to name but a few. More than just a discussion of representations of literary spaces, this collection wants to explicitly show the effects of literature and literary analysis on contemporary discourse and how literature from any historical moment possesses critical relevance to our cultures and societies.


Literary analyses from any historical period and any theoretical approach that engages with spatial analysis are welcome.


The aims of this volume look to:

  • Push beyond the standard and accepted political discourse to “radical” readings of literary spaces; readings that defy, subvert, or reach further than previous approaches;
  • Show how literary spaces contribute to understanding, changing, or challenging physical spaces of our lived world;
  • Explore the ways in which spatial analysis converges on literary analysis to produce new political avenues for cultural change.


Possible topics might include (but are definitely not limited to):

  • Re- or De-gendering spaces
  • Establishing (and maintaining) anti-capitalist spaces
  • (Un)safe Zones
  • Literary and spatial Postanarchism
  • Deleuzian Nomadic Literature
  • Environmentally conscious spaces in dystopian times
  • Finding new iterations of Hakim Bey’s Temporary Autonomous Zones
  • Non-western spaces in western literature
  • Infiltration (and exfiltration) of “white culture”
  • Navigating sites/sights of trauma
  • Nation, narration, and immigration
  • Crossing political and legal boundaries
  • Violence and the State (or Power more generally)
  • Rojava/Kurdistan
  • Volumizing Space and Drone Surveillance
  • The Darkweb


Please send a 300-word abstract and a brief (1-2 line) bio to by August 26. Please contact with any questions or queries.