Call for Papers: Concepts of Space for East Asian Studies University of Minnesota Graduate Student Conference on East Asia

Presented by the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Minnesota
May 11th and 12th, 2019 at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

2019 marks the 30th year after urban theorist Edward Soja’s proposal of the “spatial turn” that has since inspired critical examinations of space among scholars of the social sciences and humanities alike. Beyond the notion of a fixed territory, space comes to denote a series of cultural and political relationships informed and enframed by human interactions with architecture, physical surroundings, local and national boundaries, eco-systems, geographical configurations, etc. Space provides an important conceptual framework through which we understand, feel, and navigate ourselves in the world we inhabit. From the notorious “Co- Prosperity Sphere” to the experience of displacement caused by colonial wars; from the “discovery of landscape” to the construction of a theater hall; from literary writing to cinematic technology; the imagination and representation of space constitute a crucial part of the modern discursive history of East Asia. This conference invites critical approaches to space and spatial relationships in the realm of modern and contemporary East Asian studies. We specifically, but by no means exclusively, welcome research on Japan studies or comparative studies including Japan. All East Asian studies scholars in humanities and qualitative social sciences are welcome to apply. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Space and identity
  • Space and media technology The politics and poetics of space Space and capital
  • Space and body
  • Spatial aesthetics
Christine Marran, Professor, University of Minnesota
Travis Workman, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota


This 2-day conference will have overall 10-12 presentations. Each presenter will deliver a talk no longer than 30 minutes based on an academic paper that summarizes research in progress, which is followed by a question-and-answer session of 20 minutes. Please submit for review an abstract of no longer than 300 words and a short biography of 100 words or less to


Applications are due March 5th, 2019.
Successful applicants will be notified of acceptance in mid-March 2019. Final Papers are due April 20th, 2019.


The committee intends to provide financial support of $300 to each participant. Besides, meals (two light breakfasts, one lunch and one dinner) will be covered by the conference.


Yan Chang, Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Ling Kang, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Washington University in St. Louis.


Contact Information:
Graduate Student Conference on East Asia Department of Asian Languages and Literatures 220 Folwell Hall, 9 Pleasant St SE
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 55455
Tel: 612-625-6534