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English Department

Conference "Shifting Grounds: Literature, Culture and Spatial Phenomenologies"

Students, members of staff, and the general public are cordially invited to the conference "Shifting Grounds: Literature, Culture and Spatial Phenomenologies," which will take place at the English Department in Zurich on 25-27 November.

The conference responds to the recent return of phenomenological perspectives in literary and cultural criticism, and in the field of spatiality in particular. We will explore the relationships between individual (sensory, embodied, lived) responses to space and cultural or socio-political horizons, with a special focus on perspectives that discuss the experience of space as shifting, unstable and multilayered.

56 speakers from all over the world will talk on issues as diverse as refugee spaces, liminal experiences in the Antarctic, the poetics and politics of water, the experience of digital spaces, or the negotiations of public space by street food vendors in Zurich and Malaysia. There will also be a special artists' panel on "City Art and the Politics of Space," which will take place at the Viadukt in Zürich West (Sat 26 Nov, 7 pm).

Our keynote speakers are:

  • Prof. Paul Carter (Melbourne) - "Imagining the Archipelago: Poetic Geography and the New Humanities" (Fri 25 Nov, 1.30-2.30 pm) - SOC-1-106
  • Prof. John Wylie (Exeter) - "Vanishing Points: On Not Belonging to Landscape" (Sat 26 Nov, 4.15-5.15 pm) - SOC-1-106
  • Prof. Radhika Mohanram (Cardiff) - "Textures of Indian Memory" (Sun 27 Nov, 9.50-10.50 am) - SOC-1-106

If you would like to participate in the whole conference, please register by 21 November 2016. Participation is free for students of the UZH. You will find the registration form on the conference website:

Please note registration is not required for the attendance of individual panels nor for the keynote talks.

A flyer and a detailed programme can be found on the website.