Narratives of Place in Literature, Film, and FolkloreUniversity of Hawai'i at Hilo, USA3-4 March, 2016
Narratives of place link people and geographical location with a cultural imaginary through folk beliefs, literature, and visual narration. The social and cultural spatialities of place have ancient roots. Drawing from the narrative heritage of myths and legends, creation chants and folktales, and literary classics likeRob Roy (1817) and Heart of Darkness (1899), contemporary literature often frames narratives with specific places. Geographic location is also a prominent element in autobiographical writing, such as Limerick in Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes (1996) and the Pacific Crest Trail in Cheryl Strayed's Wild(2013), and their film adaptations. Similarly, fiction novels like Vikas Swarup's Slumdog Millionaire(2005) that takes place in Mumbai and Orhan Pamuk's many novels set in Istanbul immerse characters in the sentient cityscapes of modern metropolises. From the labyrinthine streets of big cities to landmarks in open landscapes, place provides rich visual subtexts in films, graphic novels, and art. Place may be manmade or natural, but is always-already imbued with meaning and cultural significance. In Landscape and Memory (1995), Simon Scharma comments, "landscapes are culture before they are nature" (61). In cultural production, place is associated with human identity and ideologically with the formation of nations, borders, indigeneity, and perceptions of selfhood and otherness.
This interdisciplinary conference aims to bring together scholars within the fields of literary studies, gender and women's studies, art, history, philosophy, film and media studies, cultural geography, folklore studies, ethnology, and related disciplines to examine how narratives of place shape human experience and inspire cultural imagination in literature, film, and folklore.
An anthology is planned, in which selected papers may be published, following a peer-review process.
Please submit a 50-word bio and a 250-300 word abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 1, 2015. Acceptance of proposals will be sent out by October 21, 2015.