Skip to main content Link Search Menu Expand Document (external link)

Comparing Landscapes: Approaches to Space and Affect in Literary Fiction

The Collaborative Research Centre (SFB 1288) - Practices of Comparing at Bielefeld University in collaboration with the Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies at Bielefeld University and the Swiss National Science Foundation invites submission of proposals for an exciting interdisciplinary conference, ‘Comparing Landscapes: Approaches to Space and Affect in Literary Fiction’, which will take place in April 20-21, 2023 at the ZiF Bielefeld, Germany.

Our keynote speakers will be Prof. Caroline Bassett, University of Cambridge, Prof. Alexander Honold, University of Basel, Dr. Mareike Schumacher, TU Darmstadt, and Dr. Matthew Wilkens, Cornell University.

The conference will be co-located with the Training School Digital tools for the identification of textual practices of comparing. An introduction to annotation and operationalisation with CATMA on April 22.

Call for Papers

Submit your proposal here

(download pdf version of the CFP here)


This conference brings together scholars from literary studies and digital humanities to explore representations of space and affect in literature and literary history, with a focus on two aspects: the ‘national’ as reference dimension and the role of practices of comparing.

The conference is designed to welcoming a wide range of perspectives: from literary critique to machine learning, from geospatial to sentiment analysis, from metaphor to historiographic argument.

We aim at creating an interdisciplinary event, where research on the dimensions of space and affect in literary texts are explored with reference to ‘national literatures’ and practices of comparing at different levels. This exchange of ideas shall take place among scholars from different faculties and backgrounds, who share an interest for the ways in which space and affect impact literary discourse and literary historiography.

We are looking forward to host a range of thrilling presentations comparing dimensions of space and affect across different national literatures and periods. We are inviting papers from different research traditions including, but not limited to, hermeneutics, philology, cultural studies, cognitive poetics, empirical literary studies, corpus stylistics, and all types of data-driven and digital humanities.

Important Dates

  • Deadline for Submissions: 19 February 2023
  • Notification of Acceptance: 1 of March 2023
  • There is no attendance fee

Submission Instructions and Review Process

  • Your submission should include the abstract of your poster/paper and the relative references.
  • The abstract should contain a maximum of 500 words for posters, and a maximum of 750 words for papers (excluding references).
  • Submissions are to be sent anonymously, and should be written and presented in English or German.
  • Abstracts should be sent in .md, .docx or .pdf format via the submission form below.
  • All submissions will go through a double-blind reviewing process, by at least two reviewers.

When completing the submission form, you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Type of submission
  • Submission Title and Proposal (Abstract + References)
  • Contact information and additional authors/presenters
  • Special requirements and/or technical support

Submission types

Posters (abstract 500 words)

Poster proposals may present work on any relevant topic, or offer demonstrations of projects, tools and software in any stage of development. Poster presentations are intended to be interactive with the opportunity to exchange ideas among attendees. Posters are in no way considered lesser forms of presentation at this conference, and are subject to the same strict peer review as other presentation types, and submissions in this category are strongly encouraged from researchers of any level of experience.

Presentations (20 minutes + 10 Q&A; abstract 750 words)

Proposals for presentations should deal with substantial or completed research, present rigorous theoretical, speculative, or critical discussions, and/or report the development of significant new methodologies or digital resources. Individual papers will be allocated 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for questions.

Submissions will be evaluated based on the following points:

  • Is the submission an innovative contribution to literary studies and/or digital humanities?
  • Is the submission adequately presented (including a bibliography)?
  • Is the submission formulated in a comprehensible manner?
  • Does the submission meet all formal criteria (abstract length, formatting etc.)?

Acceptance notifications will be circulated by the 1st of March 2023. There is no conference fee. Refreshments and conference dinner will be offered free of charge.

Code of Conduct

We are dedicated to creating a safe, respectful, and collegial conference environment for the benefit of everyone who attends, and for the advancement of research and scholarship in fields supported by our constituent organisations.

Open, critically-engaged, and often challenging discourse is expected to flourish at this conference. Participants are encouraged to respect and celebrate cultural differences, and to be mindful of the international nature of our community in preparing presentations and engaging in conversation.

Harassment or intimidation based on race, religion, ethnicity, language, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical or cognitive ability, age, appearance, or other group status will not be tolerated. Unsolicited physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention, and bullying behaviour are likewise unacceptable.

Conference organisers and participants should be identified by their name badges. Please be aware and respectful of the names and pronouns of their choice.

Contacts and info