The International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place invites proposals for its 19th Annual Conference to be held April 26-28, 2024 at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. The conference theme is Homecoming: Explorations Across Land, Sea, and Space.
Homecoming is typically understood as involving celebration and joy. It implies a journey or rite of passage, as when we have been away for a long time and return to friends and family. It also implies a spatial and temporal event. One moves across one space to another space. There is an adventure, voyage, exploration. One thinks of Odysseus’s journey, the astronaut, the seasonal migrations of birds, the cyclical peregrinations of indigenous populations. But one might also think of the work-trip, the vacation, or the spiritual event. What is this liminal space-time act? If we are not already home, then where are we? And where will we be after? Do we ever arrive? What is the home that is yet to come?
It becomes clear that to reconsider the event of homecoming is simultaneously to rethink the concept of home. What is home? Is it a natural place, a cultural space, a physical dwelling, a political territory, a feeling, an imaginary or artistic representation? Humans are not the only beings with homes. Plants, animals, and rivers migrate, nest, and/or occupy homelands. Who or what, then, has a home? Moreover, we live in an age when a vast portion of the population is referred to as homeless, unhoused, or as living in temporary spaces. Indeed, the event of making a home often involves taking away someone or something else’s home (e.g., colonial, environmental, juridical, and economic [de]territorialization). What does it mean, then, to take a home, give a home, or share a home? Is it ever possible to come home without violence?
This interdisciplinary conference seeks to explore a wide range of questions related to this theme of homecoming. We invite papers from any discipline dealing with this theme. Abstracts of 300 words or less (PDF) are due February 7, 2024.
Troy R. E .Paddock, PhD
Professor of Modern European History
Department of History
Southern Connecticut State University
Editor, Environment, Space, Place