Graduiertenkolleg Funktionen des Literarischen in Prozessen der Globalisierung

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Vortrag und Diskussion mit Frederik Tygstrup (University of Copenhagen)


Scapes. On the Organization of Spatial Experience

This paper develops a notion of "scapes" aimed at enhancing the understanding of space and spatial experience in contemporary humanities and social sciences. In a heuristic fashion, scapes are defined as performative spaces, specifically linked to acts of imagination and of social practice.

To make it operational in cultural analysis, the notion is underpinned by three strands of spatial theory: a relational understanding focusing on the play of distance and proximity; a phenomenological understanding focusing on bodiliness and experience; and an understanding based on assemblage theory and the formation of prostheses of agency.

On the backdrop of this analytical apparatus, the article explores some instances of scapes as frameworks of spatial experience, ranging from early 20th century experiences of urban environments, to early 21st century experiences of global connectedness. Examples are drawn from literary sources (from Proust to Gibson) as well as theoretical reflections (from Benjamin to Sassen).

The notion of scapes, it is argued, allows for an understanding of experience in and of space in a situation where traditional, bundled spaces tend to disaggregate and where distant relations of power and knowledge reorganize the material, conceptual and existential coordinates of everyday human environments.

Veranstaltungsort & Zeit

18 Uhr c.t.
Schellingstr. 3, RG
R. U104B (ehem. K 04B)
80799 München