[URBANTH-L]CFP: Defining Space: International Interdiscplinary Conference

Angela Jancius jancius at ohio.edu
Thu Feb 15 18:00:23 EST 2007

From: Hugh Campbell <hugh.campbell at ucd.ie>

Defining Space
International Interdisciplinary Conference
Newman House, University College Dublin
Friday 12-Saturday 13 October 2007

Call for Papers

This conference sets out to investigate the meaning and role of space 
in contemporary cultural theory and practice. Often invoked as the key 
parameter for understanding twentieth-century culture, does space 
retain this centrality today? In the mid-1940s, such influential 
exponents of modernist culture as Sigfried Giedion, Clement Greenberg 
and Joseph Frank asserted the primacy of space in the theory and 
practice of architecture, art and literature respectively, defining the 
modern by divorcing it from temporal or historical forms of 
understanding. Since the 1970s, however, space has been increasingly 
problematised: imploded through technological acceleration (Virilio), 
emptied out by the circulation of consumer goods (Baudrillard), 
transformed into a trap through surveillance (Foucault), or manipulated 
to conceal profound economic transformations (Fredric Jameson and David 
Harvey). The once reassuringly neutral category of space has been 
unmasked as uncanny and warped (Anthony Vidler), inflected by relations 
of gender (Doreen Massey) and race (Homi Bhabha). After a century 
largely devoted to thinking and creating in spatial terms, does space 
remain a viable paradigm or has it reached a point of exhaustion, 
simultaneously banal and fraught?

The aim of this conference is to investigate the current relevance of 
the spatial paradigm in theory and practice across the arts and social 
sciences. It seeks to do so through an exploration of four interrelated 
themes: experience (the existential interaction between individuals and 
communities and the spaces they inhabit), construction (the making and 
remaking of those spaces), representation (the depiction of those 
spaces in the media and the arts), and theorisation (the conceptual 
understanding of space in relation to its experience, construction and 
representation). Although not seen as exhaustive, when taken together 
these four themes, and the continuities and tensions between them, 
provide a framework for thinking about the relations between theory and 
practice, the academy and the artworld, the arts and social sciences, 
the social and the aesthetic. Scholars and practitioners in all fields 
are invited to propose papers that address any aspect of space in the 
modern and contemporary period. Proposals for panels mixing 
theory/criticism and artistic and/or architectural practice are 
particularly welcome.

Confirmed keynote speakers to date include: Barry Bergdoll (Columbia 
University/MoMA, New York), Steve Pile (Open University, UK), Anthony 
Vidler (The Cooper Union, New York)

For further enquiries, please contact Dr Hugh Campbell, UCD School of 
Architecture, Landscape and Civil Engineering (hugh.campbell at ucd.ie) or 
Dr Douglas Smith, UCD School of Languages, Literatures and Film 
(douglas.smith at ucd.ie) or consult the website 
www.ucd.ie/arcel/defining_space.html. Please submit proposals for 
papers (300 words maximum) and panels (of maximum three participants 
with individual abstracts) by e-mail to both of the above addresses by 
31 March 2007.

Dr. Hugh Campbell
Senior Lecturer, Architecture
UCD School of Architecture, Landscape and Civil Engineering,
Richview, Clonskeagh,
Dublin, Ireland

More information about the URBANTH-L mailing list