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

May 11th and 12th, 2019 at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Presented by the Asian Literatures, Cultures, and Media Graduate Program, University of Minnesota

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.

View the conference program and the conference flyer.


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

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