Reading Spatially: Summer School for PhD Researchers (Tampere, Finland, 20-22 June 2022)

deadline for submissions: 
May 31, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Tampere University
contact email: 

This summer school, aimed at PhD researchers with a spatially oriented project in fields such as literary and cultural studies, film and visual culture studies, or cultural geography, asks what it means to read spatially – or to read for space – in practice. Recent decades have seen an explosion of spatially oriented approaches to the analysis of literary texts and other forms of cultural production. Ranging from literary geography and cultural cartography to geocriticism, geopoetics, material ecocriticism, and new forms of spatial phenomenology, these approaches offer exciting avenues for thinking about the many dimensions of real and imagined space. However, the leap from theoretical considerations about space to actual reading practices is often difficult and fraught with uncertainty, and – or so it seems to us – frequently remains unaddressed or implicit. It is therefore the ambition of this summer school to reflect on the bridge between spatial theory and practice and provide opportunities for in-depth engagement with methodological questions such as: What is a geopoetic reading? What do we really mean when we talk about “reading matter”? How can we, in practice and beyond metaphor, take the physical dimension of space seriously when analysing literary texts? How can we talk about ecological relations in their spatial and textual dimensions? What does it mean to connect space, mapping, and geography with questions of narrative theory? What does a geocritical practice look like? How can we talk about, for instance, soundscapes in literature or smellscapes in film beyond analysing them as themes?

Over the three days of the summer school, both established scholars and PhD researchers will share their reading practices and discuss methodological challenges they have faced as well as (potential) solutions to them. There will be some preparatory readings that will be discussed on the first day; in the following sessions, the invited guest speakers as well as the PhD researchers will present and engage with each other’s reading practices; we will be working with a workshop format that facilitates in-depth feedback and discussion.



Prof. Michael Frank, University of Zurich

Prof. Lene Johannessen, University of Bergen

Prof. Johannes Riquet, Tampere University

Prof. Sarah Krotz, University of Alberta (online lecture/workshop) 

Dr. Giada Peterle, University of Padua (online lecture/workshop)



We will accept a maximum of 20 participants to ensure in-depth discussions. Participants should have an ongoing research project that connects with the topic of the summer school and will be chosen on the basis of a brief project description (1 page). If we receive too many suitable applications, priority will be given in the following order: 1) students from Tampere University, 2) students from other Finnish universities, 3) students from the Nordic countries, 4) students from elsewhere. While the programme includes two events with guest speakers who cannot join us in person, the participants are expected to come to Tampere (no online participation).


Participation fee: EUR 100

Please send your title and project description (1 page) as well as a short biographical note to Johannes Riquet ( by 31 May 2022. Participants will be notified of acceptance of rejection by 3 June.

The workshop is organised by the research group Spatial Studies and Environmental Humanities at Tampere University.

The research group Spatial Studies and Environmental Humanities(Plural Research Centre, ITC Faculty, Tampere University) has studied spatial phenomena in literature and culture for years. The members of the group have led and been involved in various interdisciplinary research projects relating to, among other topics, urban literary studies, island studies, phenomenology, mobility studies, Arctic research, and postcolonial studies, exploring these fields through the lens of spatial studies as well as ecocritical perspectives.