Jamesian Space (American Literature Association)

deadline for submissions: 
January 10, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Sarah Wadsworth / Henry James Society

In the aftermath of the spatial turn in literary studies, we look for fresh approaches to Jamesian spaces, material and metaphorical, real and imaginary. James’s texts have explicit spatial dimensions. Whether as settings aesthetically conceived or as sites of cultural, social, and political signification, spaces in James constitute means of thematic as well as formal exploration and even experimentation. From the Roman Colosseum to the “house of fiction” and from the “chamber of consciousness” to the “jolly corner” and the “amazing hotel-world,” James’s literary geography emphatically asserts the dynamic relations between space, subjectivity, and text. How do James’s spatial politics affect forms of representation and how do they address local, regional, national, and transnational concerns? How are identity and difference (national, gender, racial, class, ethnicity, [dis]ability, age) spatially expressed and construed in his fiction, non-fiction, and private writings? How are different types of space negotiated and represented? We seek papers that explore the thematic, methodological, and theoretical dimensions of Jamesian spaces, which could also include writings by other members of the James family. All approaches are welcome. Possible topics might include:

  • Boston and its environs
  • Infrastructure and urban spatiality
  • Ecological vs social space
  • Oceanic and transatlantic spaces
  • Literary mapping/cartography
  • Autobiography and formative places
  • Private and public spaces
  • Domestic spaces
  • Theatrical or performative spaces
  • Connections between the local, the regional, the national, the transnational, the global
  • Gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, disability, age
  • Displacement, inclusion, exclusion
  • Border crossings
  • Aesthetic space and narrative form
  • Multisensory spaces
  • Affective spaces
  • Typographical and pictorial spaces            
  • Non-places, heterotopias
  • Space and time

Please send 250-word proposals for 15-20-minute papers to adespoto@enl.uoa.gr and sarah.wadsworth@marquette.edu by JANUARY 10, 2023. Please note if you will have AV requirements.


The American Literature Association’s 34th annual conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place May 25-28, 2023 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend). The deadline for proposals is January 30, 2023. For further information or specific questions, please consult the ALA website at www.americanliteratureassociation.org or contact the conference director, Professor Olivia Carr Edenfield, at carr@georgiasouthern.edu. or the Executive Director of the ALA, Professor Alfred Bendixen of Princeton University, at ab23@princeton.edu.