7 February 2014
In recent years, the humanities and social sciences have seen a renewed interest in spatiality. Scholars have increasingly considered ways in which texts, history and cultural practices are physically embodied – and, hence, spatially embedded. Notions of ‘space’, ‘place’ and ‘landscape’ are no longer the exclusive domain of geographers, but have been appropriated by social anthropologists, scholars of religion, historians and literary scholars. Following a number of other ‘turns’ in the humanities, this development has been called ‘the spatial turn’ (e.g., Warf & Arias 2009). Scholars are studying aspects of space from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, drawing on theories not only from geography but also from philosophy and sociology. Thinkers whose work has been rediscovered, or reinterpreted from a spatial perspective, include Mikhail Bakhtin (‘chronotope’), Pierre Bourdieu (‘social space’), Michel de Certeau (‘spatial stories’), Michel Foucault (‘heterotopia’) and Henri Lefebvre (‘the production of space’).
In this conference, we would like to examine implications of the ‘spatial turn’ for the humanities. In particular, we look at the possible impact of new considerations of space on the disciplines represented at our institute: Asian studies, Middle Eastern studies, cultural studies, and the study of religion(s). We welcome papers on a variety of topics, as long as they relate to our central topic. We particularly would like to invite (post)graduate students and young (postdoc) researchers to present papers on the spatial aspects of their own research.
Time and place: May 19, 2014 – May 21, 2014, University of Oslo