ACLA 2021 / Aesthetic Space: Dimensionality

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Brian Clancy, University of California, Berkeley
contact email: 

The ACLA conference takes place April 8-11, 2021


Might one approach literature’s scenes of human action in terms of detailed dimensional principles (such as the points, lines, and planes of geometry, architectural principles, or the laws of motion)? How might this dimensionality enhance the precision of concepts like mimesis or fictional worlds? Inescapable spatial laws already create the conditions of possibility for painting, sculpture, and film. We understand far less about how such principles work in literature, and yet, space is one of the ineluctable foundations of human experience. How does a dimensional spatial understanding contribute to theories of aesthetic judgment, especially with regard to literature? This seminar invites papers in which the accent falls on specific spatial terms related to literary form. Papers might aim to clarify the dimensional character of literary space. This discussion also invites papers on visual culture and dimensionality.

More topics could include:

-Aesthetic Techniques
-Narrative and dimensionality
-Time and movement
-Dimensional hypotheses
-Narrative perspective, painterly perspective
-The movement of sound
-Gesture and the micro-gesture
-Possible worlds theory
-The concept of literary containers
-Techniques of dimensionality / cross-dimensional literary techniques
-Impressionism and Post-Impressionism
-Measurement in theater or film (blocking, mise-èn-scene)
-Mathematics and/or science and literature (epistemology, physics [gravity, string theory])
-Theories of the real

Please submit your abstract of 350 words or less on the ACLA website:

To submit your abstract, please scroll down to the seminar and click “Apply to This Seminar,” a form with instructions will follow.

 Deadline: October 31, 2020. Please direct questions to: Brian Clancy (