American Studies Association of Turkey 32nd Annual American Studies Conference
Perceptions of Space and the American Experience
November 7 - 9, 2007
According to Michel Foucault, "space itself has a history in Western experience Our epoch is one in which space takes for us the form of relations among sites." However, "despite the whole network of knowledge that enables us to delimit or formalize it, contemporary space is still not entirely desanctified [it is] still nurtured by the hidden presence of the sacred." Foucaults argument suggests the intractable aspect of the concept of "space," which is constantly eluding our grasp, and reverting back into the realm of nature and the "natural." This conference seeks to fill the scholarly vacuum that continues to exist with respect to space by removing it from the domain of the sacred, questioning its conceptualization, and exposing its manifestations within American Studies. We hope such a focus will advance the interaction between scholars who have conflicting historical and spatial epistemologies regarding the American experience.
Space is difficult to quantify because it eludes quantification: it comprises the celestial and the terrestrial, the infinite and the infinitesimal, and being and nothingness, all at once. Despite its indefinable framework, it has been a perpetual theme within the American context. For example, in Call Me Ishmael, Charles Olson takes "SPACE to be the central fact to man born in America, from Folsom cave to now," and he "spell[s] it large because it comes large here. Large and without mercy." On the other hand, it can also be large enough "for all modes of love and fortitude," as Ralph Waldo Emerson posits. Above all, it has a multitude of meanings, encompassing unlimited progress and its discontents; the visual and the invisible; the present and the absent; and as Foucault maintains, the sacred and the desanctified.
The American Studies Association of Turkey invites proposals that consider space, broadly conceived. We particularly encourage proposals which incorporate transdisciplinary explorations of space, and welcome proposals from any field of study.
Possible themes include, but are not limited to:
Spatial Boundaries/Spatial Relations
Outer Space/Inner Space/Interspace/Interstitial Space
Walking Space/Living Space/Lebensraum
Marginal Space and Agency
Urban Space/Cityscapes/Walking Space
Commercial(ized) Space/(Over)used Space
Space, Time and Memory
Poetics of Space/Textual/Linguistic Space
Space and the Body/Gendered Space
The time allowance for all presentations is 20 minutes. An additional 10 minutes will be provided for discussion.
We also invite submissions for an undergraduate student panel.
Proposals for papers, panels, performances, exhibits, and other modes of creative expression should be sent to Tanfer Emin Tunc (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Bilge Mutluay Cetintas (email@example.com) and should consist of a 250 - 300 word abstract in English, as well as a 1 - 2 paragraph c.v./biographical description for each participant.
Deadline for submission of proposals: July 15, 2007 (Extended to August 15, 2007).
Notification for acceptance of proposals: September 15, 2007