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Writing places: the conceptualisation and representation of space, location and environment in literature

Venue: Faculty of Philology, University of Montenegro
Period: June 23-25, 2016

The deadline for submission is March 1, 2016.

Program

The conference will explore questions relating to location, space and environment in all genres, from travel writing and memoir to poetry and fiction. The concept of place is open to a multiplicity of interpretations – geographical, political, cultural – and both real and imaginary places have inspired, informed and been represented in texts of all kinds. What do we mean by the word ‘place’ or by those words frequently associated with it, such as ‘home’, ‘abroad’, ‘belonging’, ‘displacement’, ‘foreign’, ‘remote’? How have writers explored these concepts in their work and what strategies do they adopt? How do the textual versions of particular places define them? And what might be the ethical and ideological issues arising?

This theme is deliberately broad because we want to encourage discussion across different disciplines and specialisms. Much critical activity has focused on, for example, poetry and landscape or travel writing and the representation of ‘the other’ and the conference aims to build on such research with contributions from scholars working across the full spectrum of both ‘writing’ and ‘place’.

Proposals for papers examining the textual representation of specific places or the role of place in the work of individual authors would be welcome while other areas for exploration might include:

  • The meaning, conceptualisation and theorisation of place
  • Borders, boundaries, liminal spaces
  • The construction of meaning and value in and for specific places
  • Reading the landscape and/or reading the city
  • Writing imaginary places
  • The literature of exile
  • The literature of psychogeography
  • The ethics of representing ‘other’ and/or ‘liminal’ places
  • Environmental writing and/or writing in the environment
  • Travelling through and into place.

The participants

The keynote speaker will be Peter Robinson, Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Reading, UK. Peter has published many books of poetry, translations, aphorisms, short fiction and criticism, including, most recently, Foreigners, Drunks and Babies: Eleven Stories (Two Rivers Press), a collection of poems, Buried Music (Shearsman), a collection of prose poems, The Draft Will (Isobar Press), and The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary British and Irish Poetry, which he edited.


How to participate to the Conference

Abstracts of 300 words, including author’s name and affiliation, should be sent to Marija Krivokapić (marija13a@gmail.com) or Tom Phillips (t.phillips18@btinternet.com). The deadline for submission is March 1, 2016.

The conference fee is 80,00 euros payable upon registration. The fee includes conference material, conference refreshments, conference excursion, and publication.

The papers that receive favourable reviews will be published in a special issue of the language and literary journal Folia linguisica et litteraria, which has recently entered Thompson & Reuters master journal list and which has been published by the Faculty of Philology of the University of Montenegro since 2010.
This conference is a continuation of our efforts to determine the importance of the travel writing genre in the contemporary world. Our first conference, The Balkans in Contemporary Travel Writing, took place in June 2014, also in Nikšić, and it produced the volume The Balkans in Travel Writing (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015).

We are looking forward to receiving your abstracts and welcoming you to Nikšić for a conference which will offer the opportunity to approach ideas about writing and place from a range of different perspectives and share research with colleagues from different disciplines and geographies.

Information & contacts

For the Organizing Committee:
Dr. Marija Krivokapić, University of Montenegro
Dr. Tom Phillips, University of Bath Spa

For the Academic Committee:
Dr. Goran Barović, University of Montenegro
Dr. Bojka Đukanović, University of Montenegro
Dr. Vesna Kilibarda, University of Montenegro
Dr. Marija Krivokapić, University of Montenegro
Dr. Maja Muhic, South East European University, Macedonia
Dr. Aleksandra Nikčević-Batrićević, University of Montenegro
Dr. Timothy Petete, University of Central Oklahoma
Dr. Tom Phillips, University of Bath Spa
Dr. Bardh Rugova, University of Pristina, Kosovo
Antonia Young, University of Bradford and Colgate University, New York

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