CFP: Experiencing Space

Experiencing Space: Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages VIII

Tampere, August 17-19, 2022 (in person/hybrid conference)

The focus of the Passages conference series lies on society and the history of everyday life. This time we are concentrating on the social construction and experiences of space, aiming to understand how it affected social frameworks, built communities and shaped individual lives. The “Spatial Turn” has directed scholars’ interest towards the interconnection between communities, individuals and space, but larger comparisons between eras and cultures are still mainly missing. We aim to approach space as an analytical tool, “experience” offering a novel conceptual method for the study in this field.

We are interested in everyday interactions within and between communities, groups and individuals and their relations with the environment. How did people negotiate the borders between built and “wild” environments, urban and rural space, the public and the private, the secular and the sacred? How were ideas, ideologies and identities reflected in the built environment and how were they shaped by space and perceptions of it? How did bodily practices and emotions create spaces, and how did space shape rituals and produce emotions? What was the role of sensory perceptions when living in and moving through space? How was space imagined and how did spaces, landscapes, buildings and monuments occupy a place in the private and public imagination? How were space and memories/narrations interconnected: how were spatial experiences inscribed in the preserved sources? In which ways did the political and legal, but equally religious spheres play a role in the formation of social spaces? We invite papers that focus on social topography, the lived experience of space, the normative and legal construction of space, the sensory perceptions of spatiality, and participation in constructing and regulating spaces.

We aim at a broad coverage not only chronologically but also geographically and disciplinarily (all branches of Classical, Byzantine and Medieval Studies). Most preferable are those contributions that have a comparative and/or interdisciplinary viewpoint or focusing on a longue durée perspective. We particularly welcome papers, which have a sensitive approach to social differences: gender, status, health, and ethnicity.

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If interested, please submit an abstract of 300-400 words (setting out thesis and conclusions) and a short biography (50-100 words) for a twenty-minute paper together with your contact details (with academic affiliation, address and e-mail) via https://www.lyyti.fi/reg/passages2021cfp. The deadline for abstracts is January 31, 2022 and the notification of paper acceptance will be made in March 2022. Conference papers may be presented in major scientific languages, together with an English summary or translation, if the language of the presentation is not English. The sessions are formed on thematic coherence of the papers and on comparison between Antiquity and the Middle Ages, thus session proposals focusing on one period only will not be accepted. If the Covid-19 situation so requires, the conference has the option of participation via Zoom.

The registration fee is 130 € (post-graduate students: 60 €), online participation for presenters 50 €. For further information, please contact conference secretary saku.pihko@tuni.fi. The registration opens in April 2022.

The conference is organized by Trivium - Tampere Centre for Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies (Faculty of Social Sciences/Tampere University) in collaboration with the ERC project Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition (SpaceLaw.fi, University of Helsinki). This conference has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 771874).

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