Exploring Thresholds of Knowledge

This project sets out to interrogate questions of spatiality, textuality and the aesthetics of encounter. It comprises four distinct but interrelated approaches, led by teams of colleagues from across the College:

1. Reading Spaces (led by Porscha Fermanis and Sarah Comyn),

2. Fictional Spaces (led by Katherine Fama and Emer O'Beirne),

3. Textual Spaces (led by Derval Conroy and Niamh Pattwell), and

4. Spaces of Encounter (led by Jeanne Riou and Michael Brophy).

Each strand features a symposium and public lecture, as well as a practical workshop for early career researchers. We welcome expressions of interest from colleagues in particular strands.

This project builds on the spatial turn in the humanities to investigate the spatial conditions of knowledge, culture and society across the centuries. It does so through four distinct but interrelated frameworks and approaches:

1. Reading Spaces (led by Porscha Fermanis and Sarah Comyn)

This strand engages disciplinary spaces of reading, both academic / pedagogic or more geographical (libraries, prisons, schools, mother and baby homes, and other regulatory spaces where reading takes place), asking questions both of the undisciplining of reading spaces and spatializing of reading disciplines.

2. Fictional Spaces (led by Katherine Fama and Emer O'Beirne)

This strand enquires into the construction of female spaces – architectural, social, political - in French, American and Caribbean fiction. Urban and domestic spaces, and the cultural and technical work of fictional narrative in shaping and sustaining these spaces are the key focus.

3. Textual Spaces (led by Derval Conroy and Niamh Pattwell)

This strand has a strong medieval and early modern focus on the notion of space as it emerges in manuscript, text, paratext and fragment and the transformative insights – and new archives - they create. Particular attention will be paid to the work of women writers and patrons, in an ongoing effort to recuperate lost voices, and to examine the interplay between gender and text.

4. Spaces of Encounter (led by Jeanne Riou and Michael Brophy)

This strand will examine the aesthetic and ontological in framing critical discourses of encounter, both geographical and temporal (past/present).

Each strand features a symposium and public lecture, as well as a practical workshop for early career researchers.

We welcome expressions of interest from colleagues in particular strands, and hope to engage as many College colleagues as possible through the duration of the project from 2022-24.

Project PIs: 

Professor Jane Grogan
UCD School of English, Drama and Film
jane.grogan@ucd.ie

Professor Derval Conroy
UCD School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics
derval.conroy@ucd.ie

Dr Jeanne Riou
UCD School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics
jeanne.riou@ucd.ie