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university of tampere: faculty of communication sciences: research: plural: research programmes:
Faculty of Communication SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculty of Communication Sciences

Spaces of Language and Literature

In recent years, perspectives informed by spatial and geographical concerns have gained increasing prominence in literary studies. From postmodern cognitive mappings to urban and postcolonial thematics, from the emerging field of geocriticism to established ecocritical questions, space has become a central notion in investigations of literary texts and cultural phenomena. At the same time, globalization has highlighted the need for the study of global and local linguistic variants as well as the ways in which meaning itself travels in space and across borders through translation.

The LTL research program Spaces of Language and Literature addresses themes highlighted during the widely acknowledged Spatial Turn in the humanities, concentrating on several specific perspectives. The spatial dimensions of language, fiction, and culture at large are brought under investigation in a collective effort to map out answers to questions such as:

  • How do elements of the material world, including the natural world, become infused with meaning?
  • How do representations of these elements – descriptions of settings, spaces, and environments – function as part of literary textuality, and in other media?
  • How is language itself, in all its uses and transformations (metaphor, for example, or translation), capable of generating phenomena whose analysis benefits from the use of spatial conceptualization?

Research projects are currently being carried out within the following thematic areas:

Water as Social and Cultural Space: Changing Values and Representations. The aim of the project is to understand the meanings of water and how water, as an essential life-vitalizing element, plays a conceptual role in cultural orientation both in global and local contexts and how cultural practices intersect with environmental concerns.

Empires of the Popular: Imperial Identity in Russian and Anglo-American Popular Texts (EMPO). The aim of the project is to examine how imperial identity is culturally constructed and restructured in different sociohistorical, economic and technological conditions, and to study to what extent imperial imaginary deals with particular historical experiences of specific empires, and where it might be more accurate to speak about mapping modern society in terms of empire.

Forthcoming Conferences:

Helsinki Literature and the City Network: Second Cities Conference 2015, Åbo Akademi, 20-21 August 2015.

Forthcoming Workshops:


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Last update: 12.6.2015 12.30 Muokkaa

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