Monthly Archives: June 2014

Further Information about the Location

UCL Postgraduate Conference “Distance & Proximity” (26th & 27th June) will be held in room 347, in The School of Eastern European and Slavonic Studies (SEESS), 16 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW.

Since the UCL’s undergraduate open day is taking place on Thursday the 26th of June, we will have one of our organising committee at the door of this building in the morning from about 9am to make sure everybody finds the building, but there will also be signs to the room for those that might arrive later. 

Nonetheless, the organising committee would ask everybody to keep in mind that all buildings will be open to this influx of visitors and not to leave valuables around – especially if you visit the main campus. 

We are looking forward to meeting you!

Distance & Proximity Conference Schedule

“Distance & Proximity”

University College London – Society for Comparative Cultural Inquiry

Postgraduate Conference – 26th & 27th June


Thursday, June 26th

9.00-10.00 Registration and coffee
10.00-11.00 Keynote: Dr Rosa Mucignat, KCL, Lecturer in Comparative Literature, Far from Where? Perspectives on Place and Comparative Methods
11.00-11.30 Break with refreshments
11.30-13.00 Cultural translation (Chair – Niall Sreenan)

❖      Dominic Davies (University of Oxford), Geography, Topography, Infrastructure: Mapping the Oscillations of the Frontier in John Buchan’s Prester John (1910)

❖      Rebecca Loeb (UCL), Other Stuff: Taxidermy and Intersectionality in Postcolonial Canada

❖      Sophie Stevens (KCL), The thickness of theatre translation in a study of Bailando sola cada noche by Raquel Diana (2008, Uruguay)

13.00-13.45 Lunch
13.45-15.45 Physical Space in Art and Literature (Chair – Stefano Rossoni)

❖      Nicola Thomas (Nottingham), Meridians: the poem as a place of encounter in the work of Paul Celan and J. H. Prynne

❖      Elvan Sayarer (Université de Montréal), Visual Perception and Mobility in Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul. Memories and the City

❖      Saba Ahmed (Goldsmiths), ‘In that Black or Luminous Square’: Windows as sites of imagination in the writings of Proust and Beckett

❖      Rory Mackay Mcginley (Glasgow), Re-imagining Suburbia in Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road

15.45-16.00 Break with refreshments
16.00-17.30 Ethnicity, Identity, and Language (Chair – Dr Hugh Goodacre)

❖      Catherine Gibson (SSEES, UCL), Language or Dialect? The politicisation of language in Central and Eastern Europe

❖      Yi Zhang (University of Hawai’i), Fragile Distance: Nationalism and Disillusionment in City of Glass

❖      Bharath Ganesh (UCL), Listening and the politics of race: distance and proximity in hip-hop

18.00 onwards Conference dinner – at Tas Turkish restaurant in Bloomsbury


Friday, June 27th

9.00-10.00 Coffee
10.00-11.30 Artistic Practice (Chair – Thea Petrou)

❖      Kay Tabernacle (UCL), Distance and Proximity in Hannah Höch’s radical imagination

❖      Patricia Townsend (The Slade), Distance and proximity in the creative process of visual artists

❖      Avril Tynan (Royal Holloway), The illusion of distance and the spectre of proximity in the films of Jorge Semprun

11.30-11.45 Break with refreshments
11.45-13.45 Construction of Space (Chair – ALex Lee)

❖      Alexander Pavey (UCL), ‘I’m there right now. Call me.’ Unstable identities and irregular distances from Raymond Chandler to David Lynch

❖      James Tattington (Portsmouth), “A place between human places”: Mapping literary space in Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine and Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller

❖      Anna Andersen (The Bartlett), Windows: close or distant to nature?

13.45-14.30 Lunch
14.30-15.45 Gender: Heteroflexibility, Feminist Linguistics & the Body (Chair – Gabriella Caminotto)

❖      Christiane Luck (UCL), ‘That’s unscientific!’ Science as the arbitrator of ‘truth’ in feminist linguistic debates?

❖      Magali Burnichon (UCL), Queer Representations and Straight Audiences

15.45-16.15 Break with refreshments
16.15-17.15 Keynote: Prof. Andy Leak, UCL, Professor of French Studies, Fabrication and Creation – an exploration of laterality in some works by Georges Perec
17.15 onwards Wine reception


Keynote: Dr Rosa Mucignat (KCL) – “Far from Where? Perspectives on Place and Comparative Methods”

Dr Rosa Mucignat, Lecturer in Comparative Literature at King’s College London, will be our keynote speaker on Thursday, June 26th. The abstract of her paper titled “Far from Where? Perspectives on Place and Comparative Methods” is now available:

Abstract: In Western modernity, cognitive models and methods of analysis are often described using the optical metaphor of perspective, which was developed as a technique by the visual arts in the Renaissance. Perspective is a tool that allows a sensorially accurate depiction of objects and their positions and proportions in space. Metaphorically, it is associated with the particular attitude or point of view from which an interpretation of reality is made. Depending on the context, distance from an object can be considered as either furthering or impeding critical assessment. This talk will address the use of emotional, intellectual, and spatial proximity as a means of understanding the past in three narratives of place and memory: Claudio Magris’ Danube (1986), W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn (1995), andOrhan Pamuk’s Istanbul: Memories and the City (2003).

Rosa Mucignat is Lecturer in Comparative Literature at King’s College London. She works on place in literature and on theories of cultural spaces (region, nation, the global). She is the author of Realism and Space in the Novel, 1795-1869 (Ashgate 2013) and has recently edited the volume The Friulian Language: Identity, Migration, Culture (Cambridge Scholars, 2014).

See Dr Rosa Mucignat’s research profile