"Spaces" Austin, TX Oct. 14-16, 2021
2021 Meeting of the Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts
October 14-16, 2021
Hilton Garden Inn
Call for Papers
Spaces, long taken for granted or relegated to the mere background, have become much more significant in cultural theory in the twenty-first century. To be sure, the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the significance of spatiality in innumerable ways, with restrictions on travel, remote learning, “lockdowns,” and the now ubiquitous concept of “social distancing” coming to dominate daily life in the present moment. With so many people limited in their movements, space and place seem all the more salient today.
Following the “spatial turn” in the humanities and social sciences, critics have increasingly turned their attentions to matters of space and place, spatial relations, geography, architecture, and mapping. Who we are and what we do, it seems, are ever more noticeably connected to where we are, to our location vis-à-vis others, and our place within both a geographical setting and a more abstract, spatial framework, such as social hierarchies or orders organized around center and periphery, for instance. Matters of space and spatiality are, in some senses, nothing new to literature and culture. Distinctive locales, regions, landscapes, or other pertinent geographical features are often crucial to the meaning and the effectiveness of literary works, and entire genres may be defined by such spatial or geographical characteristics, such as the pastoral poem, the travel narrative, utopia, or the urban exposé. With its discrete line breaks or presentation on the page, poetry often exhibits a markedly spatial form, and many literary works are complemented with maps, whether actually included in the text or merely projected and held in the mind of the reader, which are intended to help guide the reader through the storyworld or geography of the text. However, the last few decades have witnessed a profound reassertion of space in humanities, as matters of space, place, and mapping have come to the forefront of critical discussions of literature and culture. This “spatial turn” has had powerful repercussions for literary and cultural theory and practice in the twenty-first century.
For its 2021 conference in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 14-16, 2021, the Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts (SCLA) invites proposals for talks related to “spaces,” broadly conceived, as well as to other topics of interest, which might include some of the following:
Lived Spaces Abstract Spaces Space and Place
Architectural spaces Literary geography Urban Planning
Textual spaces Landscapes Visualization
Borders Contact zones Liminality
Cognitive mapping Orientation Diaspora
Postcolonial spaces Globalization Spatial ontology
Oceanic spaces Territory Conquest
Buildings Rooms Heterotopia
Utopian spaces Imaginary worlds Science fictional spaces
Outer space Localities Fluvial spaces
Cities Rural spaces Non-places/Atopias
Race and place Gendered spaces Spaces of memory
Institutional spaces Environmental issues Spatial representation
Politics of space Spatial theory Geocriticism
Tourism and travel Public vs. private Toponyms
ABSTRACT DEADLINE: July 1, 2021
Panel and paper proposals related to the conference theme are especially encouraged, but all topics are welcome. Please submit panel proposals (500 words) and individual abstracts (250 words) by July 1, 2021. Please include in the body of the email your name, academic affiliation, status (faculty, grad student, etc.), and mailing address. For panel proposals, include the names, addresses, and affiliations for all participants.
Graduate students submitting a paper proposal may be eligible for an SCLA travel scholarship.