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 firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 3rd November 2010 and should include name, affiliation, e-mail address, title of paper and 4 keywords.
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 Staion (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.
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