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CRITICAL SPACES: DISORIENTING THE TOPOLOGICAL

London Graduate School

Critical Spaces: Disorienting the Topological

A graduate conference in the critical humanities

Kingston University, London

Monday 5th January 2015

 

Keynote Speakers:

Claire Colebrook

Eyal Weizman

Eleni Ikoniadou

Fred Botting

 

Call for Papers:

“The present epoch will perhaps be above all the epoch of space.” — Michel Foucault ‘Of Other Spaces’

“Oh God! I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space.” — Hamlet

Foucault’s assertion that the present epoch will be one of space immediately evokes the temporal. Whether we consider our epoch as modern, postmodern, or as non-modern, the philosophical treatment of space has been subordinated to time. Elizabeth Grosz has suggested that philosophy could draw on architecture to consider itself as a form of building or dwelling rather than as reflection of thought, evoking the spatial already implied by Heidegger. Occupy Wall Street and other recent anti-establishment protests in Brazil and Istanbul have been defined by journalist Bernardo Gutierrez as forming ‘anew architecture of protest’, convened by networks of consensus rather than dominant groups and ideology. Current theories and practices surrounding geopolitics, metamodelling, neuroscience, cartography and choreography support this growing emphasis on spatiality – whether focusing on produced space, social space and spaces of resistance, imaginary and poetic space, psychoanalytical and embodied space, sovereign space, performative space, digital space and/or virtual space.

This conference invites interdisciplinary approaches to the spatial. In particular we are interested in how thinking spatially or spatial practices reveal and open up disruptive, subversive or minoritarian fields within already existing discourses, be they philosophical, political, cultural or aesthetic. As Foucault has done in defining heterotopias, and as Edward Soja shows us through the idea of ‘thirding as othering’, it aims to rupture not only the particularities of those discourses, but the very possibility of thought itself through challenging existing borders, boundaries, horizons, surfaces and planes. We welcome proposals from all approaches including but not limited to: New Materialisms, Non-philosophy, Philosophy and Praxis, Cultural Studies, Political Theory, Geography, Architecture, Postcolonial Theory, Feminist and Queer Theory, Literature, Visual Cultures, and Art Theory and Practice, which consider space in the broadest terms. We also welcome proposals for practice based approaches and interventions.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to: lgscriticalspaces@gmail.com  by Friday 31 October 2014

At The London Graduate School blog: http://www.thelondongraduateschool.co.uk/blog/call-for-papers-critical-spaces-disorienting-the-topological/

 

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Just Space

SPACES OF ALTERITY

Conference: Call for Papers

Spaces of Alterity: Conceptualising Counter-Hegemonic Sites, Practices and Narratives

University of Nottingham, UK
28th-29th April 2011

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

China Miéville and Dr. Alberto Toscano

This two day international conference for postgraduate and early career researchers explores interdisciplinary conceptions and representations of radical, counter-hegemonic space.

As concerns grow over such issues as spatial privatisation, commodification and homogenisation, surveillance, extra-legal spaces, social and political ‘non-spaces’, and the loss of common or public spaces, so too a plethora of interventions—across genre and disciplinary boundaries—have been launched in opposition to these trends. Examples are diverse, and can be found, for example, in literary studies of estranging narratives in contemporary fiction; spatial representations in film, TV and new media; the creation of critical spaces of alterity in political activism (such as semi-autonomous zones); psychogeographical spatial strategies, and philosophical and theoretical conceptions of counter-hegemonic space.

We invite proposals for papers of 20 minutes from candidates across the arts and humanities, welcoming individual papers as well as group panels that respond to these and other conceptions of counter-hegemonic “Spaces of Alterity”. Possible research questions include, but are not limited to:

    • What estranging utopian, dystopian, post-apocalyptic and science fiction spaces of alterity are being utilised in contemporary aesthetic and cultural productions, e.g. film, literature, TV, art, computer games?
    • How do these narratives travel across media and what changes occur when they are adapted, reworked and transformed? What research questions are raised by such collaborations, transmissions and intermedial dialogues?
    • How can we approach traditionally-understood print and audio-visual texts in relation to virtual spaces of alterity, such as fan-based communities, social networking sites and other sites developed through user-generated content (UGC)?
    • What are the relationships between textual spaces of alterity and non-textual forums, communities and dialogues?
    • What physical spaces of alterity are being constructed in contemporary urban environments?
    • How are such spaces critical, oppositional or subversive and how do they draw on the contributions of local communities and organisations?
    • How do spaces of alterity which are informed by traditionally-understood “texts” function on the Internet and how can they inform our understanding of filmic, visual and literary textual methodologies and approaches?
    • What forms can counter-hegemonic, avant-garde, or ‘subtractive’ spaces—which can be spatial, but also temporal or conceptual—take?
    • What political, artistic, or scientific practices can such spaces foster? How does distance from institutions help form alternative political, literary and artistic practices?

Abstracts of 250-300 words should be sent by email as a Word attachment to spacesofalterity@gmail.com by Wednesday 3rd November 2010 and should include name, affiliation, e-mail address, title of paper and 4 keywords.

Conference website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/cultural-studies/research/conferences.aspx

Speakers:

China Miéville is a distinguished “Weird Fiction” novelist, activist, and lecturer in creative writing at the University of Warwick. His publications include King Rat (1998), Perido Street Station (2000), and Iron Council (2004). In 2010 he won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for an unprecedented second time with his latest novel, The City and the City (2009).

Alberto Toscano is senior lecturer in Philosophy at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has published extensively on social and political subjectivity, biopolitics, and the philosophy of Alain Badiou. His most recent work is Fanaticism (2010, Verso)

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