Mapping Cultural Space: Sites, Systems, and Practices across Eurasia

Країна: США;

Дедлайн: 17.08.2016

Тип гранту: Освіта за кордоном;


Область наук: Философские; Филологические; Географические; Педагогические; Социологические; Культурология;


Mapping Cultural Space: Sites, Systems, and Practices across Eurasia is the theme of the 2014–2015 Davis Center Fellows Program, coordinated by Professors Julie Buckler (Slavic Languages and Literatures), Eve Blau (Graduate School of Design), and Kelly O’Neill (History). The seminar for 2014-15 will explore the significance of cultural space as both an object and a tool of analysis, taking as its focus Eurasia, an area of the world where political and cultural boundaries have been repeatedly reconfigured.

The 2014–2015 program coordinators are looking to build an intellectual community for a project that may extend beyond 2014-15, in order to deepen understanding of the complex and enormous territory of Eurasia in both theory and practice, and to explore interdisciplinary discourse and methodologies, as well as collaborative, multimedia forms of scholarly output that serve multiple functions (research, pedagogy, etc.).

With “Mapping” as the central theme, participants will bring together their overlapping geographical-cultural interests, considering diverse practices of mapping cultural space in different disciplinary modes, and examining mapping practices more generally as forms of cultural politics.  Not least, they will reflect on “mapping” as a revealing metaphor for their own scholarly practices and production.

The interest in the social production of cultural space grows out of the 1990s “spatial turn” and accompanying work on cultural “mobilities,” advanced by more recent work in globalization and memory studies. The coordinators understand “cultural space” to denote culturally-defined zones, physical or virtual, geographical or imagined, that are produced, sustained, monitored and contested by human practices.  Cultural space is a dynamic product of cultural activity and discourse, as well as a framework for the evolution and transmission of beliefs, behaviors, memories, and values. Since cultural space is such a capacious construct, however, the program participants will be working together to map both its enormous reach and its necessary limits.

Relevant project topics might include the following:

SITES: Physical markers of cultural memory, such as UNESCO World Heritage sites, crisscrossed by the politics of preservation, restoration, and reclamation; spaces set apart, such as prisons and labor camps, environmental disaster areas and zones of ecological particularity; overlapping and contested areas including frontiers, borderlands, and war zones.

SYSTEMS: Cultural networks and institutions such as economic markets, immigration policies, kinship networks, and imperial bureaucracies. The spaces these systems produce might take the form of diaspora communities, sovereign nations, legal systems, international organizations, or virtual worlds.

PRACTICES: Generating, transmitting, and transforming cultural space via imperial conquest and expansion, modernization, war and terrorism, globalization and mass media. On a micro level, mechanisms relevant to this theme might include local commemorative practices, cartographical representations, the space of private life, and virtual community venues such as blogs.

The Fellows Program selection committee invites applications from all fields of the humanities and social sciences.  They are looking for applicants whose projects are demonstrably engaged with the notion of cultural space, and welcome projects on a wide variety of specific regions, sites, or historical periods.  In your application statement, please describe your past experiences working on cultural space, and the significance of this concept for your current work.

Applicants should be eager to participate in active yearlong conversations about interdisciplinary work and methodologies, and to work collaboratively, as well as independently on their proposed individual projects.  Applicants should also have acquired a reasonable digital literacy and be willing to attend targeted workshops for training in skills and technologies relevant to the larger project and virtual community.

The work in the Fellows Seminar will be closely connected to a 4-year Mellon Foundation grant on interdisciplinary recontextualization of urban studies, co-coordinated across all of the Harvard schools by Professors Blau and Buckler.  This Mellon project includes a major research portal on Berlin and Moscow, opening out to all post-socialist cities across Eurasia.  The consideration of Eurasian cultural space, however, will by no means be limited to urban environments.


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