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Spaces of Dialogue: I International Conference on Transatlantic Literature
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4/24/2014 to 4/25/2014
When: April 24-25, 2014
Where: Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard
Cambridge, Massachusetts 
United States

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Spaces of Dialogue: I International Conference on Transatlantic Literature

April 24-25, 2014

Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard (Cambridge, MA)

Click here to visit the conference website.

Space and how the human experience revolves around it has been one of the common tropes of literature. No matter the nature of the written or oral text, the common frame has been the interaction between men and women locked up within a frame – be that domestic, work, or even natural – in which and/or against which the self is defined. These surroundings have greatly influenced the literary work, erecting boundaries or liberating it through the creation of new fantastic spaces. However, with the discover of the New World, these boundaries got broader, as the literary minds of the Old World were able to see what was before deemed impossible. Nevertheless, these two spheres, new and old, grew distant as their experiences diverged one from the other. Even though related, they were different. Today, in a world in which both sides of the Atlantic can be reached with the click of a mouse, we must ponder on what our interactions within our space mean to the other. It is no longer a separate world but one in which both sides of the ocean need to acknowledge and assimilate each other’s experience.

The aim of this conference is to revise, revisit and question the meaning and cultural impact of such spaces and the physical, psychological and aesthetic distance between them. Through the lens of comparative literature, this conference attempts to bring together scholars (post-docs, PhD candidates, graduate and undergraduate students,independent scholars) working on American, Latin American, South American and/or European (Spanish, British, etc.) literary studies so as to delve into the complexities of spatial constructions and depictions within the written piece. Such mapping of the cultural spectrum will slowly build bridges between the two sides of the Atlantic experience by focusing on those characteristics that bring us together and learning from those that brought us apart.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

- The public space from a transatlantic literary perspective

- The domestic sphere in transatlantic literatures and the cultural gendering of spaces

- Natural and wilderness spaces in transatlantic literature. Preservation and cultural identity and the domestication of the wilderness

- Comparative approaches to the theater stage and/or spaces for entertainment and/or interaction with an audience

- The work space and/or the educational space in transatlantic literature and thecross-cultural labor experience

- Racialized spaces in transatlantic literature. Marginal and demographic boundariesbetween races and ethnicities and the possibility of miscegenation

- Spaces of encounter with of the ‘other’ (the racial ‘other’, the animal ‘other’, the sexual ‘other,’ etc.).

- Mirroring battles: spaces of war and/or violence in transatlantic literature- Cyber and online spaces in contemporary transatlantic literature

- The communal and/or familial space versus the individualistic space in transatlantic literature

- Transatlantic utopias and dystopias

- Adaptations and visions of Eurocentric spaces, topographic tropes and symbols, and institutions at the other side of the Atlantic.

- The transatlantic literary imaginarium: spaces shaped through memory, fantastic spaces and spaces of magical realism

- Topographies of realism and naturalism in transatlantic literatures- Sites of terror in transatlantic literature

- Spaces of production and consumption in transatlantic literature

- Wastelands across the Atlantic

- The body as space in transatlantic literatures

- Postmodern spaces in transatlantic literatures: defying continental and national boundaries through the blurring of aesthetic and literary genres

- Visualizing representations: comparative analyses of illustrations, photos and/or engravings of spaces in transatlantic texts (newspapers, magazines, children’s and young adults’ literature, etc.)

- The sensuous space: discourse analysis and formalistic analysis of metaphors,tropes and motifs used in transatlantic literature to sensuously enliven or deaden spaces

The conference will be held on April 24th and 25th at the Real Colegio Completense at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts thanks to this institution and the Franklin Institute at the University of Alcalá (UAH). The official conference language will be English.

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