Social space, geographical space, representation of space and literature

Social space, geographical space, representation of space and literature

Sixth session of the 2023-2024 CEFRES Francophone Interdisciplinary Seminar The map and the border
In 2023, we would like to start by beginning by questionning the very act of bordering and representing (a territory, a period, a trajectory), in short, thanks to the interdisciplinarity of our respective disciplines, to question the map and the border.

Location: CEFRES Library, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1
Dates: Friday, April 12th, 10–11:30 am
Language: French

Speaker : Josef Šebek, Department of Czech and Comparative Literature, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, associate researcher at CEFRES

Discussant: Yasar ABU GHOSH (FHS UK)

The talk will focus on the forms of space in Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory, looking in particular at the way they relate to one another and at the spatial aspects of the literary field. The first of these forms is the social space and social field, referring to a structure of positions that exists objectively yet does not exist (primarily) in physical space or real (physical) interactions between social agents. In order to make this structure intelligible, Bourdieu creates various spatial schemata that range from simple diagrams to visualisations based on multiple correspondence analysis. His followers come with even more sophisticated representations of social space. The relationship between this structure and geographical/physical space is complicated since relations in the social space or social fields do not necessarily coincide with actual spatial distances and proximities. Nevertheless, Bourdieu demonstrates – especially in the last period of his career – that it is necessary to study the relations among agents and the objectified forms of capital as they play out within physical/geographical space… The talk will then move to the question how the relations of the three forms of space can be applied to the literary field. In the spatially most interesting part of The Rules of Art, the “Prologue”, the representation of space has the competing forms of a diagram and a map. Bourdieu’s thinking on space thus guides us through the intriguing problem how to actually map literary fields as well as the social and geographical space represented in literary works.