Hermes Summer School ‘Space, Affect, Memory: Performances and Representations’

Centre for Advanced Studies (CIEDUS), Universidade de Santiago de Compostela | 22-26 June 2020


Research Group – Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature, PhD Programme in Literary and Cultural Studies. University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)

Call for Papers

Bringing together the notions of space, affect, and memory results in an appealing intersection in the field of literary and cultural studies, as each one of them can act as an axis for setting in motion a reorientation of cultural studies, and even of social sciences (because of their strong impact on what have been called the spatial turn, the memory turn, and the affect turn). These things, we are aware, are not new. However, we believe that the interaction between these three notions opens a path for new, complex analyses of the events taking place in the context of the contemporary revival of humanities.

What’s more, this brings about new, exciting research prospects for literary studies, as well as for cinematic, artistic or visual studies. The connections between memory and space (or place) are rooted in a well-known theoretical and methodological tradition that includes classical authors as Halbwachs, Benjamin, Poulet, Nora, Assmann, and Shama. Many of them, indeed, gave an important role to the category of affect in their theories, as is the case with Poulet, who reinforced it with the notion of affective memory that he developed in his work L’espace proustien. Still, it was not until recently that affect gained a more firm, established position in cultural and literary studies, especially in spatial studies. The influence of psychogeography and, at a different level, of nonrepresentational geography has been a determining factor in this respect.

We want Hermes Summer School 2020 to set up a framework for exploring these interconnections. That is why we will certainly welcome proposals offering original theoretical analyses on the matter, but we also encourage applicants to submit case studies on artistic, visual and literary works that approach these relations aesthetically, not only in theory but also in practice. We consider the tension between practices relying on representation and those based on performativity to be especially relevant, since it constitutes one of main the turning points that currently affect the ongoing debates on gender studies, ecocriticism, memory studies, and poetry and drama studies. Applicants are free to focus on any of the suggested notions –affect, space, or memory– but we strongly encourage participants to explore the intersections between them, knowing that the spatial dimension can be used as a rallying point for structuring proposals.

Each paper will be allotted 20 minutes. In addition to presenting their own research, speakers are strongly encouraged to reflect on the concepts they employ in their analyses. Please send your proposals including an abstract (200 words) and a short bio note (150 words, with your name, email address, institutional affiliation, dissertation topic, and disciplinary anchoring) to by January 31, 2020. We welcome abstracts related but not limited to the topics listed below:

  • Theories of affect, memory and place
  • Affect and memory as space connectors in fiction
  • Affective performances of local and global spaces
  • Ecocriticism and affect theory
  • Haunted spaces in literary, cinematic, artistic or visual representations.
  • Emotional and/or mnemonic communities and the sense of place
  • Gendered and/or queer places of affect and memory
  • Affect and memory: the predicament of representation
  • Historical perspectives on affect, space and memory in literature and visual arts.
  • Walking as performance

Keynote Speakers

  • Ben Anderson, Department of Geography, Durham University.
  • Germán Labrador, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Princeton University.
  • Helena Miguélez-Carballeira, School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics,
  • Bangor University.

Doctoral Workshop

Iván Villarmea Álvarez, Department of Art History (Film Studies), University of Santiago de Compostela.

General Information

The University of Santiago de Compostela is a member of the Hermes Consortium for Literary and Cultural Studies, a long-standing collaboration of eleven doctoral schools in Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the USA. The Consortium’s annual summer school, hosted in turn by each partner institution, brings together specialists, delegates from the partner universities and a selected number of PhD students. An intensive training workshop and work-in-progress presentations focus on shared methodologies and interdisciplinary themes and lead to the publication of an annual edited volume, published by UCL Press in the Comparative Literature and Culture series.


Practical Information

Participants in the conference (delegates and PhD students) will be provided accommodation by the organization at hotels and university housing facilities in the area of the conference’s venue, the Centro de Estudios Avanzados (CEA) of the University of Santiago de Compostela. The CEA building and the accommodation facilities are a 10-minute walk from the city’s historic centre. Santiago de Compostela’s airport is at a 15-minute ride from the city (transport from the airport includes bus or taxi). The railway station is located at the city centre, a 30-minute walk from the conference’s venue (the CEA building). Transportation to and from Santiago will be covered by the participants.

The conference fee (EUR 270.00 per participant) covers the applicant’s participation in the conference, accommodation, lunch on four days, and the conference dinner. The payment method will be indicated once attendance is confirmed.

Some Bibliographic References

Ben Anderson, Encountering Affect. Capacities, Apparatuses, Conditions, Ashgate, Farnham, 2014.

Aleida Assmann, Cultural memory and Western Civilization: Functions, Media, Archives, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Christine Berberich, Neil Campbell, and Roberts Hudson (eds.), Affective Landscapes in Literature, Art and Everyday Life: Memory, Place and the Senses, Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, 2015.

Kyle Bladow and Jennifer Ladino (eds.), Affective Ecocriticism: Emotion, Embodiment, Environment, U of Nebraska P., Lincoln, 2018.

Tonya K. Davidson, Ondine Park, and Rob Shields (eds.), Ecologies of Affect. Placing Nostalgia, Desire, and Hope, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo (Ontario), 2011.

Stef Craps and others, “Memory Studies and the Anthropocene: A Roundtable”. Memory Studies, 11 (2018), 498-515.

Astrid Erll and Ansgar Nunning (eds.), A Companion to Cultural Memory Studies, De Gruyter, Berlin, 2010.

Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth (eds.), The Affect Theory Reader, Durham, Duke University Press, 2010.

Ursula K. Heise, Jon Cristensen, and Michelle Niemann (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Environmental Humanities, New York, Routledge, 2017.

Bruno Latour, “Agency at the Time of the Anthropocene”, New Literary History, 45 (2014), 1-18.

Doreen Massey, For Space, SAGE, London, 2005.

Helena Miguélez-Carballeira, Galicia, A Sentimental Nation: Gender, Culture and Politics, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 2013.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity, Durham, Duke University Press, 2003.

Organizing Committee

Fernando Cabo Aseguinolaza, César Domínguez Prieto, Büke Saglam, Cristina Tamames Gala, Belén Tortosa Pujante

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