EVENTS

DWELLING CLE SYMPOSIUM 2022

12-13 May 2022

A Virtual Symposium

Keynote Speakers

Professor Alison Blunt, Queen Mary University of London, UK. Home and beyond: dwelling and belonging in pandemic times.

Professor Colin Ellard, University of Waterloo, Canada. Dwelling in a digital age: Lessons from the pandemic.

Dr Rachel Hurdley, Cardiff University, UK. Making home: doors, mantels, windows and other places

CALL FOR PROPOSALS

As a physical space of habitation, dwellings may take many forms, such as houses, castles, apartments, convents, caravans, huts, or barges. Moreover, dwelling – both noun and verb – implies a certain ‘staying put’ or even permanence. Dwelling might then be a state of rootedness and safety, the opposite of temporary spaces such as refugee camps, prisons, and hospitals.

Space is a dimension that permits the formation of places, which for geographer Doreen Massey (1994) has multiple non-static identities. A place within a space can harmonize or clash with its surroundings. For Bachelard (1961), places and spaces are tied to identity-formation via an architectural engagement with dwellings. As a space of intimacy, a dwelling can constitute a ‘cosmos’ of the self, and it could be explored through topographical surveys or mappings of the paraphernalia, ambiances, memories, and imaginaries of living, as in the fiction and non-fiction of Georges Perec.

Exploring dwelling as a relationship with space, Bourdieu’s work on the ‘Berber house’ (1970) questions the modernist idea of space as nothingness or void. Heidegger’s ‘Building, Dwelling, Thinking’ (1954), an essential text for modern architecture, links human inscapes with the (im)material realities of building and dwelling. For the dweller, the relation to space and place entails simultaneously a withdrawal into a demarcated space for shelter and the creation of a sense of belonging.

Humanity’s sense of place and space has never been more prominent than it is today. The COVID-19 pandemic has confined many people to cramped urban dwellings or inhospitable spaces (e.g., quarantine hotels), turned homes into offices, and changed the topography of everyday life. This crisis, along with economic inequalities, climate change, and mass migration events, confirms the need for a radical reassessment of sustainable human dwelling on earth. This Symposium will engage in creative and critical discussion on dwelling in both the verbal and the nominal sense and on how we live or wish to live in the world.

This two-day online Symposium is designed to generate active discussion, focusing on thinking and talking rather than formal presentations. If your proposal is accepted, it will be included in a digital ‘book of presentations’ that all participants will be asked to read in advance of the Symposium. The contributions will be grouped into parallel break-out sessions of 90 minutes, during which each presenter will speak for max 10 minutes, and the subsequent discussion will aim to explore the key theme of the panel.

Proposals might include the following – or other – perspectives on ‘dwelling’:

– Dwelling and identity
– Dwelling and ecology
– Dwelling, location, address
– Dwelling as habitat or home
– Dwelling, remaining, and belonging
– Dwelling on: dwelling as a state of mind, as fixation
– Multiple dwellings or grouped dwellings, e.g., neighbourhood
– Dwellings vs. other buildings, e.g., factories, shops, ports, farmyards, etc.
– Dwellings and architecture, e.g., buildings: walls, doors, windows, roofs, upstairs/downstairs, etc.

APPLICATION: We invite 300-word proposals in English for a 10-minute presentation; please also send your presentation title, your name, affiliation, and a short biography (max. 100 words). We will also be hosting interactive workshop sessions (60 minutes) and invite 300-word proposals for these.

SUBMISSION DATE: Please send your proposal as an email attachment to Naomi Segal at naomi.segal@sas.ac.uk and Maika Nguyen at chi.nguyenmai@ucdconnect.ie by noon GMT on Sunday 5th December 2021.

CONFERENCE FEES: Standard £50 | Students (+ ID)/Unwaged £20

BURSARIES: Several bursaries are available; the successful applicants will receive a fee-waiver. The competition will open on 17 December 2021 and close on 14 January 2022.

Membership of CLE is required. Go to the ‘Join Us’ page to sign up for Membership.

Previous Conferences

The first CLE Conference took place in London, at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, on 16-18 April 2015. A major outcome of the conference is a shared understanding of Cultural Literacy as a key societal challenge for the future of Europe and its relationship with the rest of the world. This recognition must lead to common objectives among academics, professionals, and representatives of cultural associations and funding bodies.

The Conference demonstrated that excellent research and initiatives are already taking place in this area across Europe and beyond its borders. Whether working with methods and tools of Literary and Cultural Studies [LCS] or spanning other interdisciplinary areas, researchers and teachers in the Humanities and Social Sciences can make a key contribution to both understanding and answering the challenge of Cultural Literacy.

One of the recommendations of the ESF-COST Science Policy Briefing, published in January 2013, was to create a biennial Cultural Literacy conference series.

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On 16-18 April 2015, the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities in London hosted Cultural Literacy in Europe, the first in a biennial Conference series. One of the outcomes of the conference was a clear mandate to continue with the CLE initiative. Many expressed the desire to participate in future initiatives and pointed to the need for a clear outline of our objectives. The ‘London Statement’ was a response to that request. It was written with the help of comments from participants and it aimed to capture the energy and enthusiasm which animated the conference, while helping us to take the CLE initiative to the next stage.

CLE Second Biennial Conference will be hosted by Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The conference will take place in Warsaw, 10-12 MAY 2017.

In May 2016 CLE and the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences organised a workshop  “Cultural Literacy of Migration: Affects, Memory, Concepts”, the aim of which was to map research areas and research directions which would constitute a core of 2017 conference thematic strands.