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HomePlaces and fictions in the English-speaking world

Places and fictions in the English-speaking world

Lieux et littératures dans le domaine anglophone

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Published on Thursday, February 02, 2017


This one-day conference organised by the PhD students in English Literature at Paris-Sorbonne University aims at assessing the usefulness of the spatial paradigm in English studies. As English-language literatures around the world develop, it seems relevant to think about them using conceptual tools such as space, borders and fluxes.


June 10th 2017

Paris-Sorbonne University

Annual one-day conference organized by OVALE, as part of VALE EA4085


Growing interest for research concerning the connections between literature and geography has been spurred over the last few years in a spatial turn that might consistently follow the linguistic turn. This paradigm seems all the more suitable to the field of English studies since the very study of texts written in a different language necessarily leads us to wonder where they originated from. Furthermore, recent yet widespread development of English-language literatures around the world in the 20th and 21st centuries imparts increased relevance to space-related inquiries in literary research.

In an attempt to think the relation between place and literary and artistic creation, it is impossible to disregard modes of representation and to avoid reflecting on the ways texts convey space, be it thanks to description, to the narration of personal experience towards space, or through the invention of imaginary lands. In a more reflexive approach, one ought to consider literature’s predisposition for linguistic mapping, from ancient rhetoric, which insists on commonplaces and distinguishes between Attic and Asiatic styles, to the philosophers who conceptualize literary genres in terms of frontiers and areas of influence. Likewise, more political and sociological perspectives should not be overlooked, since they aim at considering works as steeped into a literary field built out of stylistic innovations and power relationships. In other words, literature may have the ability to create and redefine maps and places, but it may also be better understood by taking a closer look at places of creation in their materiality.

By bringing together scholars working on English-language literatures and arts in their broadest sense, this conference seeks to examine the merit and richness of the spatial paradigm. The variety of speakers and interventions would shed new light on the relevance of the spatial model by relocating what is at the heart of English studies, namely a language historically related to the British Isles, as well as by assessing the impressive plurality of fields of studies that have recently emerged, while English is now spoken and written in over seventy countries around the world.

Proposals may consider but are not limited to:

  • The invention of fictional places and their importance, from Thomas More’s Utopia to Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, not forgetting Lilliput, Middle-earth, etc.
  • Literature as a means to organise and master space.
  • Description, hypotyposis and ekphrasis.
  • Literary places of creation, from Grub Street to Greenwich Village, from the Bloomsbury Group to the Harlem Renaissance, etc.
  • Literature, politics, and places in a post-colonial perspective.
  • The specificity of the theatre stage as locus of creation.
  • Theoretical contributions of geopoetics and ecocriticism in the context of English studies.

Submission guidelines

The conference is open to all

Abstracts should be 350 words maximum, submitted with a short biographical note. The committee is composed by Manon Boukhroufa-Trijaud, Pierre Labrune, and Pauline Macadré, PhD students and organization members of OVALE, and by Professors Elisabeth Angel-Perez, Frédéric Regard, and Alexis Tadié.

Abstracts and questions should be submitted to: laboratoire.ovale@gmail.com

Language of abstracts and papers: French or English

Papers must not exceed 20 minutes in duration 


  • Submission deadline: March 17th, 2017

  • Feedback: starting April 3rd, 2017

The conference will be held in Paris, at the Maison de la Recherche of Paris-Sorbonne University (28, rue Serpente, 75006 Paris).

Selection Committee

  • Mme Élisabeth Angel-Perez, Professeur à l'Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), VALE EA 4085.
  • M. Alexis Tadié, Professeur à l'Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), VALE EA 4085.
  • M. Frédéric Regard, Professeur à l'Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), VALE EA 4085.
  • Mme Pauline Macadré, doctorante, Université Paris-Sorbonne.
  • Mme Manon Boukhroufa-Trijaud, doctorante, Université Paris-Sorbonne.

Selected bibliography

BACHELARD, Gaston. La Poétique de l’espace. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1957.

BARON, Christine. « Littérature et géographie : lieux, espaces, paysages et écritures », Fabula-LhT, n° 8, « Le partage des disciplines », May 2011, URL : http://www.fabula.org/lht/8/baron.html

BERQUE, Augustin. Ecoumène, Introduction à l’étude des milieu humains, 1987. Paris: Belin, 2015.

BHABHA, Homi. The Location of Culture, 1994. London: Routledge, 2015.

BOURDIEU, Pierre. Les Règles de l'art. Genèse et structure du champ littéraire. Paris: Le Seuil, 1992.

BROOKS, Peter. The Empty Space. London: Mac Gibbon and Kee Ltd, 1968.
COLLOT, Michel. La Pensée-paysage. Paris: Actes Sud, 2011.

DAWSON, Ashley. Mongrel Nation: Diasporic cultures and the making of postcolonial Britain. Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 2007.

DERRIDA, Jacques. L'écriture et la différence. Paris: Le Seuil, 1967.

–. De la grammatologie, Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1967.

DIDI-HUBERMAN, Georges. Génie du non-lieu, air, poussière, empreinte, hantise. Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 2001.

FOUCAULT, Michel. Surveiller et Punir. Naissance de la prison (1975). Paris: Gallimard, 1993.

GUADALUPI, Gianni et MANGUEL, Alberto. Dictionnaire des lieux imaginaire. Arles: Actes Sud, 1998.

GILROY, Paul. After Empire, Melancholia or convivial culture? London: Routledge, 2004.

–. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and double consciousness. London: Verso, 1993.

MERLEAU-PONTY, Maurice. Le Visible et l’invisible. Paris: Gallimard, 1964.

PEIRCE, Charles S. Écrits sur le signe. Paris: Le Seuil, 1978.

SAPIRO, Gisèle. La Sociologie de la littérature. Paris: La Découverte, 2014.

SARTRE, Jean-Paul. Situations, III (février 1947 - avril 1949), Paris: Gallimard, 2013.

SOJA, Edward W. Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social History. London/New York: Verso, 1989.

STAËL, Germaine de. De la littérature considérée dans ses rapports avec les institutions sociales. Second edition. Paris, 1800.

–. De l'Allemagne. Paris, 1814.

VIALA, Alain. Naissance de l'écrivain. Sociologie de la littérature à l'âge classique. Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1985.

WHITE, Kenneth. L’Esprit nomade. Paris: Grasset, 1987.
WILLIAMS, Raymond, The Country and the City, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975.


  • Maison de la Recherche de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne, 28 rue Serpente
    Paris, France (75006)


  • Friday, March 17, 2017


  • anglophone, lieu, espace, représentation


  • Pierre Labrune
    courriel : pierrelabrune [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Pauline Macadré
    courriel : pauline [dot] macadre [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Manon Boukhroufa-Trijaud
    courriel : manonbt [at] aol [dot] com

Information source

  • Pierre Labrune
    courriel : pierrelabrune [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Places and fictions in the English-speaking world », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Thursday, February 02, 2017, https://calenda.org/392537

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