Spaces of Dialogue. I International Conference on Transatlantic Literature


Thu - Fri, Apr 24 to Apr 25, 9:30am - 6:00pm


RCC, 26 Trowbridge. Cambridge MA 02138

Space and how the human experience revolves around it has been one of the common tropes of literature. No matter the nature of the written or oral text,the common frame has been the interaction between men and women locked up within a frame – be that domestic, work, or even natural – in which and/against which the self is defined. These surroundings have greatly influenced the literary work, erecting boundaries or liberating it through the creation new fantastic spaces. However, with the discovery of the New World, these boundaries got broader, as the literary minds of the Old World were able see what was before deemed impossible. Nevertheless, these two spheres, new and old, grew distant as their experiences diverged one from the other. Even though related, they were different. Today, in a world in which both sides of the Atlantic can be reached with the click of a mouse, we must ponder on what our interactions within our space mean to the other. It is no longer a separate world but one in which both sides of the ocean need acknowledge and assimilate each other’s experience.

The aim of this conference is to revise, revisit and question the meaning and cultural impact of such spaces and the physical, psychological and aesthetic distance between them. Through the lens of comparative literature, this conference attempts to bring together scholars (post-docs, PhD candidates,graduate and undergraduate students, independent scholars) working on American, Latin American, South American and/or European (Spanish,British, etc.) literary studies so as to delve into the complexities of spatial constructions and depictions within the written piece. Such mapping of the cultural spectrum will slowly build bridges between the two sides of the Atlantic experience by focusing on those characteristics that bring us together and learning from those that brought us apart.