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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities

Thinking Space - Explorations Through Life Writing

International Conference

2 Nov // 3 Nov 2012


Life writing, the recording of selves, memories and experiences can hardly be thought without its connection to space. Who we are, how we narrate ourselves depends on our ability, our desire or failure to locate our identity in the places that surround us. As such, spaces and selves are interdependent. Selves are partly constituted through the spaces they live in and our understanding of subjectivity tends to draw on spatial metaphors. At the same time individuals produce specific spaces through their spatial practices, through the use they make of them and the meaning they attribute to them.


This conference focuses on the relationship between physical and mental spaces in life writing and their impact on the formation of the self. We link this question to the spatial turn in the humanities and the currency of constructivist concepts of space.


Topics for discussion are: the geographies and topographies of life stories; the significance of journeys and movement between places for self-formation; the grounding or uprooting of the self in terms of place (homelands, displacements etc); the role of memory and the interplay of present and absent places; imagined spaces as substitutes for absent and lost places.



Friday, 2 November // 2pm

Dorotheenstrasse 24

R 1.601


Saturday, 3 November // 10:30am

Dorotheenstrasse 24

R 1.501



Click here to view the program of Thinking Space.


Organised by:

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik

King’s College London, English Department and Centre for Life-Writing Research



Prof. Dr. Eveline Kilian

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik

Unter den Linden 6

D-10099 Berlin


Tel.: 030/2093-2532/-2832

E-Mail: eveline.kilian@rz.hu-berlin.de