Space and place affect the very way in which we experience, understand, navigate and recreate the world. Wars are fought over both real and imagined spaces; boundaries are erected against marginalised individuals, groups and populations, constructing a lived landscape of inclusion and exclusion. Space and place are also the focus of the creation and contestation of uncontainable mobilities — be they human, identities, cultures, meanings, information, finances and objects — that are causing geographies to shift and change. Moreover, the existence of space and place are (is?) irrevocably intertwined with, and created by, technologies, communication and culture, knowledge, politics, economics, power and lived experience. Understanding spatial relationships and the tensions and dynamics that inform them enables us to gain important insights into the processes that configure the spaces and places that we move through, inhabit and live in, as well as the nature of our existence.
Now in its seventh year, Space and Place: Exploring Critical Issues is an established annual interdisciplinary conference project that encourages critical and collegial dialogue. Recognising that different disciplines and practices express themselves through different modes, media and formats we strongly encourage the submission of proposals from creative practitioners — artists, architects, writers, photographers, painters, film-makers, performers, urban planners — as well as people from related professions, industries and activities and alternative forms of performance. Critical accounts and descriptions of problem-solving activities from ongoing projects that function to alter the nature space and place as well as from projects that are in development are also most welcome. We also strongly encourage traditional papers, panels and workshop proposals.
We seek to create a dialogue amongst individuals and groups who are concerned about the complex nature of space and place. Performances, presentations, reports, works-in-progress, papers and workshops are invited on issues related to any of the following themes:
Theorising space and place: How do space and place exist? What aspects of human, and non-human behaviour act upon and constitute space and place? From Deleuze to Latour to Hayles; from theories of becoming to Actor-Network Theory to New Materialism, space and place have become increasingly important dimensions to social and political thought. We welcome any and all forms of presentations that seek to participate and intervene in this critically important dialogue.
The situation and location of identities in space and place: How is our sense of self and our relationship to others constituted through our existence in space and place? How do space and place interpellate the subject? How do human endeavours affect the constitution of space and place and in so doing affect the nature of our sense of self? How have the gradual decline of the nation-state and the ascendance of the network state (Castells) affected the relationship between the national identities of subjects and the state within which they were born? We are moving away from rights based on presence in space to rights based on legal status. What does this mean for both national subjects and the space of the nation?
The space and place of the networked home: The concept and structure of the home has, and continues, to occupy a privileged position in human existence. How do the Internet, new media and the build out of connected devices, appliances and other technologies increasingly found in the home change the nature of the home as a space and our place within it.
The creation and contestation of existing spaces and places: How have existing spaces and places been created in the past, and how are they lived in at present. Can we say that our existence in a given space or place is ever and always without some form of contestation? If not, then how is our living in an existing space or place contested in the present? What does this mean for our existence as individuals, groups and communities in terms of the spaces and places that we inhabit? How is the distinction between the public and private ownership of space affected by this ongoing contestation? Does this distinction between private and public even make sense in a world where people are increasingly mobile, and the articulation of neoliberal property and economic rights that are attached to this mobility are attempting to extinguish the legitimacy of public spaces and the public ownership and governance of places? What is the future of public space in a world that is increasingly neoliberal and privatised?
The repurposing of existing spaces and places: Tobacco curing facilities in Durham, North Carolina, have become chic niche stores for the wealthy and educated; warehouses in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, have become live-work spaces for artists, entrepreneurs and small start-ups; a church in New York City has become one of its landmark performance spaces. What are the processes — local, national, global — that lead to the repurposing of existing spaces and places? How do these processes, and the restructuring that they lead to, affect the existence of individuals and groups who have made use of these spaces and places prior to their repurposing? What do they foretell for future acts of repurposing? What is the relationship between the repurposing of spaces and places and their reclamation? Is this simply a relationship between market structures and legal structures, or are entirely new visions of society and sociality being enacted in these repurposed and reclaimed spaces?
Representations of space and place in the media, film, literature, TV, theatre, the fine arts and performance: From the haunted house in horror movies to the foreboding, dark and desolate street in film noir, to the streetscapes of the French new wave and the “painterly” spaces in the films of Michael Mann, to the recreation of historical New York in the literature of Carr and that of Berlin by Kerr, to the implosion of space in the paintings of Alex Colville, space and place have long been privileged, if unspoken subjects for the fine arts, literature and film. We seek presentations by artists, authors, photographers and filmmakers who wish to share their completed or on-going visions of space and place. We also welcome critical readings of these modes of expression and depiction of both space and place.
The spaces and places of social media: How do social media exist as social space and places of congregation? Are these spaces and places disrupting the fabric of our offline existence, or do they merely supplement it? How do these new places and spaces of sociability affect our sense of self and our relationship to others?
The nature and production of virtual space: William Gibson coined the term cyberspace in 1984, and described it as a “consensual hallucination.” Can we not, however, think of cyberspace literally, as a space or place? If so, then how, and how does this new spatial construct affect the lives of those who have come to inhabit cyberspace? Do digital natives/Millenials, inhabit a world of spaces and places that is different from Generation X and its predecessors? If so, how, and what does this mean for the spaces and the places —both virtual and real — of the future?
Mobile communication technologies and new urban spaces and places: How have mobile phones and tablets changed our sense of space and place and our relationships to those whom we communicate with? Can we be said to be living in a space or greater immediacy as a result of the deployment of mobile communications technologies? Have the mobile phone and the tablet compressed space, or have they extended our presence amongst others across space? Do the mobile phone and the tablet enable us to inhabit new places? If so, then how are these places constituted, and how are they inhabited?
Knowledge clusters, new industries and the globally networked city: urban geography and industrial location theory and research have long pointed out that knowledge clusters, information-based industries and the policies regarding their location have lead to rearticulation of spatial relationships that are detrimental to the existing inhabitants of the places that these industries come to occupy. This occurs as a result of political and economic spatial segregation along with the construction of the transit networks that link these clusters and industries directly to other such places via networks of regional, national and global mobility. What are the processes through which this is occurring in the early 21st century? How are space and place rearticulated through these processes? What are the strategies and tactics that are being deployed to resist the dislocation that accompanies the build out of these industrial networks?
Networks of mobility and their relationship to movement, space and place: The twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have often been characterised by the by the increasing movement and mobility of people, objects, information, cultural meanings and financial instruments through increasingly complex and extensive networks of mobility — both physical and digital. How do these networks change the nature of space and place in the early 21st century? What types of spaces and places exist within these networks? Are we fated to solely inhabit spaces within these networks? Do localised places exist as counterpoints to these networks, or will networks of mobility eventually envelope all forms of the local? How does our sense of self and our relationship to others change as a result of our increased mobility and movement through these networks and across space?
The spaces and places of global tourism: The global tourism industry is currently valued at over $8 trillion, with annual revenues in excess of $900 billion and 240 million individuals directly employed in the industry. Tourism not only participates as a key industry in the networks of mobility, but in so doing radically reconfigures the existing spaces and places of the destinations that people go to — politically, economically and industrially to name but three dimensions of these effects. How does global tourism recreate the spaces and places of the destinations that it profits from? What are the effects of this recreation of space and place upon the populations who inhabit these destinations?
Practice based proposals, research and reports on space and place. As noted, above, critical accounts and descriptions of problem-solving activities from ongoing projects that function to alter the landscape of space and place — urban renewal, housing development, the development of new forms of mobility, to name just three — as well as from projects that are in development, are also most welcome.
Please note: These criteria are by no means definitive. Presentations on any other topic related to the general theme are welcome and will most certainly be considered
Supporting the conference’s interdisciplinary character, the organizers propose to establish a dialogue between the parallel meetings running during this event. Delegates are welcome to attend up to two sessions in each of the concurrent conferences.
Further details and information can be found at the conference website.
Details of our review policy can be found here.1
Call for Cross-Over Presentations
The Space and Place project will be meeting at the same time as a project on Food and another project on Videogames. We welcome submissions which cross the divide between both project areas. If you would like to be considered for a cross project session, please mark your submission “Crossover Submission”.
What to Send: 300 word abstracts, proposals and other forms of contribution should be submitted by Friday 1st April 2016. All submissions be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
Abstracts may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Space and Place Abstract Submission
- Harris Breslow: harris[at]inter-disciplinary.net
- Rob Fisher: sp7[at]inter-disciplinary.net
This event is an inclusive interdisciplinary research and publishing project. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.
A number of eBooks and paperback books have been published or are in press as a result of the work of this project. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.
Ethos: Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation. Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.
- 1. http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/critical-issues/ethos/space-and-place/call-for-papers/details/