We seek submissions by March 30, 2008 for a panel on "Utopias, medias and architecture: studies on the concept of space and literary topographies" at the July 2008 ABRALIC (Brazilian Association of Comparative Literature) conference in São Paulo.
In the 1967 (published 1984) Des espaces autres. Hétérotopies, Michel Foucault already suggested that the disquiet provoked by space signaled a paradigm shift in contemporary thought. Yet while the subsequent diffusion of a spatially grounded vocabulary (contact zones, the location of culture, dislocation, or third space) attests to a “spatial turn” in literary and cultural studies, it also veils the antagonism of three diverse trends: Anglo-american scholars emphasize the symbolic power of spatial representations to allow for politically engaged counter-discourse. Strict Foucauldians foreground the historically specific semiotic and mediatic constitution of a given geographical space. Others question the authority of textual paradigms for cultural studies and dwell on the incommensurability between mediatic, embodied and aesthetic experiences, and *literary* theory. We welcome proposals on topography as a form of writing space, spacial metaphor, cartographical diagram, or architectural design. Also: literary, urban and architectural utopias, models of traveling (pilgrimage, exploration, Bildung), the relationship between literature and the media, or theoretical reflections upon writing, materiality, and the transformations of space in the age of globalization.
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