In times of global deterritorialisation and transnational cultural exchange, the prominence of local places of production and reception has become more, rather than less, significant: Writers’ museums, for example in Weimar and Stratford-upon-Avon, Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence in Istanbul, chapbook presses across the globe, literary institutions such as Copenhagen’s LiteraturHaus, UNESCO Cities of Literature, for instance in Cracow and Prague, and slam events in many cities have emerged in the digital age. Local literary cultures partake in 3global communication practices and contribute to “a sense of place which . . . includes a consciousness of its links with the wider world, which integrates in a positive way the global and the local.” Accordingly, we intend to explore if the local and the global can still be perceived as conflicting concepts. Produced locally, but often distributed and read globally, are literary cultures characterized by the ways in which the global and the local interact and add to “glocal” practices?
This conference aims at investigating the shifting interconnection between literatures and place in the twenty-first century on three intersecting planes: literary production, distribution, and reception. We invite contributions that discuss the issue of the changing role of real and imagined, local and global, virtual and physical places of literature in an international context. We want to bring together scholars from all fields within literary and cultural studies, as well as from disciplines such as the sociology of literature, human geography, book studies, and museology.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
- Places of production, old and new (e.g. corporate and independent publishing houses and self-publishing businesses; creative writing programs and workshops; writers-in-residence programs and artist-run spaces)
- The materiality of local productions (e.g. typesetting, printing, and book design today; objects such as the author’s desk or the mimeograph)
- Local literatures and global marketability (e.g. translations; transnational literary awards; book reviews)
- Forms of distribution, physical and virtual (e.g. the brick and mortar vs. the online bookstore; magazine and publisher subscriptions vs. Twitterature or Flash Fiction)
- Places of reception (e.g. houses of literature, readings and performances, literary salons, book clubs, museums, archives, and libraries vs. online forums and the bookternet)
This conference invites German- and English-language contributions that cover a wide range of reflections on literature and place. We particularly welcome papers by doctoral candidates and postgraduates.
Please submit a short proposal (approx. 300 words, in English or German) and a short biographical note to Marleen Knipping (firstname.lastname@example.org; North American Studies, University of Göttingen) and Julia Kroll (email@example.com; Anglophone Literature and Culture, University of Göttingen) by January 31st, 2018. Notification of decision: February 28th, 2017.
Conference Organizers: Marleen Knipping and Julia Kroll (University of Göttingen).
 Doreen Massey, Space, Place, and Gender (Cambridge: Polity, 1994) 154-155.
 Roland Robertson, Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture (London: Sage, 1993) and “Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity,” Global Modernities, ed. M. Featherstone, S. Lash and R. Robertson (London: Sage, 1995): 25-44.