Fabula, la recherche en littérature (agenda)

Space in Literature: Questioning Space in Fiction


Information publiée le mercredi 2 mars 2011 par Bérenger Boulay (source : European Narratology Network - ENN)

Du 26 mai 2011 au 27 mai 2011, Amsterdam

Dr. Jacqueline Klooster and Drs. Jo Heirman, both of the classics department of the University of Amsterdam, announce the conference entitled 'Space in Literature: Questioning Space in Fiction'.The conference will take place in Amsterdam, 26-27 May 2011. The goal of this conference is to bring together classicts and modern literary theorists on the concept of space.


8h30-9h: registration with coffee

9h-9h15: opening by the organizers

PANEL LIVED SPACE Chair: H. van der Liet

9h15-10h: I. Hoving, Imagined space/Lived space, Alienation/Destruction, Singularity/Specificity:

Testing Three Oppositions To Find Out What (Lived) Space Means

10h-10h45: B. Reitz, From Coercion to Cooperation: Literary Strategies of Representing Human Interventions in Nature

10h45-11h10: coffee break

11h10-11h55: J. van Baak, The House as Lived Space. The House as Myth

11h55-12h40: K. Röttger, Towards a new poetics of space? Theatrical interventions

12h40-13h55: lunch


14h-14h45: E. van Opstall, The Cave as Allegory

14h45-15h30: P. Saoulidou, Mapping ideology: geography in two hymns by Callimachus

15h30-15h45: coffee break

15h45-16h30: J. Klooster, Mapping the the Argo's Myths in Apollonius: A Ptolemaic imperium of knowledge

16h30-17h15: M. Aydemir, Small Places

17h15-18h: H. Dannenberg (keynote speaker), Cognitive, corporeal and territorial space: different approaches to the analysis of space in narrative fiction and film

18h-18h45 drinks at CREA

19u: conference dinner at Kantjil


PANEL TEXT SPACE Chair: I. de Jong

8h30-9h15: E. Barker, 'Approaching cities both small and great': towards identifying the textual networks in Herodotus' Histories

9h15-10h: J.H. Hoogstad, Abstract 'Imaginary Numbers: The Stuff that Spaces are Made Of'

10h-10h15: coffee break

10h15-11h: J. Gavins, Reimagining Classical Space

11h-11h45: J. Heirman, The Symbolisms of Space in Archaic Greek Lyric: Creating Imaginary Worlds

11h45-13h: lunch

PANEL TIME-SPACE (Allard Pierson) Chair: M. de Bakker

13h-13h45: P. van Uum, Tragic Troy. The spatial construction of a heroic city in fifth-century Greek tragedy

13h45-14h30: S. Adema, Upper world Time in Underworld Space

14h30-14h45: coffee break

14h45-15h30: B. Keunen, Chronotopes as cognitive tools in literary imagination

15h30-16h15: E. Peeren, Grave Stories: The Chronotope of (Re)Burial

16h15-17h: closing discussion

17h: Drinks and dinner at Zeppos

For more information:

Dr. Jacqueline Klooster, Drs. Jo Heirman,

Department of Classical Studies, Department of Classical Studies,

University of Amsterdam , University of Amsterdam ,

J.J.H.Klooster@uva.nl Jo.Heirman@uva.nl






University of Amsterdam, 26-27 May 2011



In a brief essay called 'Des espaces autres' which was written in 1967 but published in 1984 Michel Foucault announced that after the nineteenth century, which was dominated by a historical outlook, "l'époque actuelle serait peut-être plutôt l'époque de l'espace". His prophecy has been fulfilled: the end of the twentieth century witnessed a "spatial turn" in humanities (see Hallet-Neumann 2009), which was perhaps partly due to the globalization of our modern world.

This shift in attention from time to space is noticeable in particular in literary theory. Until recently space was neglected in favour of time as parameter of literary analysis. As Buchholz and Jahn (2005: 551) have argued, this was in the first place due to the influential claim made by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing in his Laocoon (1766) that literature is essentially a temporal art - as opposed to spatial arts, such as painting or sculpture. A second reason given by Buchholz and Jahn is that space in literary fiction was often considered to have no other function "than to supply a general background against which the action takes place, something to be taken for granted rather than requiring attention". From the end of the twentieth century onwards, however, space has become a 'hot topic' in literary studies. Numerous monographies have appeared on space in a specific period, genre or author: for instance, on space in modern Arabic literature (Hallaq a.o. 2002) or Russian fiction (Joe 2007). One might imagine therefore, that there remains little to be said about the subject. That this is not true becomes apparent from the fact that in classical studies, for instance, the study of space has only recently come to the foreground. While at this moment several research projects on space are running, among which the NWO-funded project at the University of Amsterdam, supervised by Prof. Dr. Irene de Jong, a lot of work still needs to be done in this field. The study of space in modern literary fiction might benefit from the encounter with its classical counterpart.

Focusing on space in literary texts therefore, this colloquium wishes to bring together the fields of classical (Greco-Roman) and modern literature. By provoking debates on similarities, continuities or differences in the function of literary space we hope that this encounter may cross-fertilize (the study of space in) both fields. To this end, we focus in particular on four themes.

A first theme concerns the textuality of space. This takes its cue from such theories as the 'possible worlds theory' (Ryan 1991 and Ronen 1994), 'text world theory' (Werth 1999 and Gavins 2007), and the concept of 'storyworlds' (Herman 2009). Questions we wish to address are how the textual medium affects the presentation of space and how this relates to the space outside the text: is the fictional or textual world a referential world which parallels the world outside the text? Or is it a newly created, symbolic world which conflicts with that outside the text and can only exist in the imagination?

A second theme regards the relationship between time and space. Bakhtin's chronotope theory (see Bakhtin 1981 (1938); Keunen 2007; Bemong-Borghart-a.o. forthc.) has evinced that time and space are inextricably bound to each other: the way time is employed influences the spatial presentation and vice versa. We may think here of space of the present in relation to memory or functioning as a 'lieu de mémoire' (see Nora 1984-1992). But what happens if space and time conflict with each other in terms of anachronism, or if space is dissociated from time?

A third theme centers on the combined concepts of Lived or Living Spaces. Under this header we would invite treatments of space as both an active participant in the shaping of stories, influencing the human characters (e.g. as in the theories of Lefebvre), or as endowed by narrators with human qualities (pathetic fallacy, personification). We also invite contributions from the fields of eco-criticism and related theoretical frames.

Finally we would like to address the theme of Landscape and Imperialism. This broad theme begins from the question of how power structures space into a landscape, or how this attempt is deconstructed, especially in colonial and postcolonial narrative, from both the side of the colonizer and the colonized.

We invite participants to discuss, question or expand on these themes in their field of research in ways which allow bridging the gap between classical and modern literature. The colloquium will be hosted at the University of Amsterdam from May 26-May 27 2011. In two days four sessions will be held, each of which is linked to one of the themes set out above. Within each section approximately four papers will be presented, two from classical and two from modern literature. The selection of speakers invited is a mixture of senior and junior researchers from the Netherlands as well as other European countries.




Dr. Jacqueline Klooster, Drs. Jo Heirman,

Department of Classical Studies, Department of Classical Studies,

University of Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam,

J.J.H.Klooster@uva.nl Jo.Heirman@uva.nl



Select Bibliography:


Bakhtin, M. (1938), 'Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel', In Holqvist, M. ed., The Dialogic Imagination (Austin): 84-258

Bemong, N. - Borghart, P. - Dobbeleer, de M. - Demoen, K.- Temmerman, de K. - Keunen, B. eds. (forthc.), Bakhtin's Theory of the Literary Chronotope: Reflections, Applications, Perspectives (Gent)

Barry, P. (2009) "Ecocriticism". Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory (Manchester)

Buchholz, S. - Jahn, M. (2005), 'Space in Narrative', In Herman, D. - Jahn, M. - Ryan, M.-L. eds., Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory (London): 551-555

Cresswell, T. (2004), Place: A Short Introduction (Oxford)

Foucault, M. (1982), 'Des espaces autres', In Defont, D. - Ewald F. eds., Michel Foucault. Dits et écrits. Volume IV: 1980-1988 (Paris)

Gavins, J. (2007), Text World Theory: An Introduction (Edinburgh)

Hallaq, B. - Ostle, R. - Wild, F. (2002), La poétique de l'espace dans la literature arabe moderne (Paris)

Jong, I.J.F. de ed. (forthc.), Space in Ancient Greek Literature: Studies in Ancient Greek Narrative 3 (Leiden)

Joe, A. (2007), Narrative, Space and Gender in Russian Fiction. 1846-1903 (Amsterdam)

Keunen, B. (2007), Verhaal en verbeelding: chronotopen in de westerse verhaalcultuur (Gent)

Lefebvre, H. (1974) La production de l'espace (Paris)

Nora, P. (1984-1992), Les Lieux de mémoire (Paris)

Hallet, W. - Neumann, B. eds. (2009), Raum und Bewegung in der Literatur: Die Literaturwissenschaften und der Spatial Turn (Bielefield)

Herman, D. (2009), Basic Elements of Narrative (West-Sussex)

Ronen, R. (1986), 'Space in Fiction', Poetics Today 7: 421-438

Ryan, M.-L. (1991), Possible Worlds, Artificial Intelligence, and Narrative Theory (Bloomington)

Werth, P. (1999), Text Worlds: Representing Conceptual Space in Discourse (Harlow)

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