Wandering and Home
Following the success of our recent eleventh interdisciplinary conference, we are calling for articles on the same theme for publication in a future issue of our on-line journal Skepsi, to be published during 2019.
The focus of the conference was to investigate the ambiguous relationship concepts of ‘Wandering’ and ‘Home’ by highlighting both the binary opposition of and the possible interrelations between the two concepts.
Many different types of homes and houses can be found in literature: the ‘gothic’ homes depicted in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Edgar Allan Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher, the country homes of late-Georgian England that feature in Jane Austen’s novels, and the stifling atmosphere of the late-Victorian and Edwardian upper middle-class London homes of John Galsworthy’s The Forsyte Saga. Their role, in the history of literature, of symbolising family values, social status and the complex web of family relationships is clearly one of great importance.
Romanticism began to develop the notion of wandering, on the other hand, as a positive opposition to the concept of home. This is particularly true of German Romantic literature which increasingly perceived ‘bourgeois homeliness’ as being too restrictive. In a broader— and geographically wider — sense, home was also the place where industrialisation took place, the industrialisation from which people wanted to escape through free wandering in nature. The figure of the flâneur, as depicted by Baudelaire, Walter Benjamin and to a lesser degree Soren Kierkegaard, in turn, stands in stark contrast to this. The flâneur is the emblem of modernity: an urban wanderer figure that no longer wishes to escape from the city but begins to dominate urban public spaces in classical narratives, holding a privileged position and making himself at home in the streets of modern European metropolises.
But wandering is not just a physical activity; there is also mind-wandering, a metaphorical form of wandering taking place in that most intimate and homely dimension of personal space — the human mind. Modernist literature’s stream of consciousness writing functions as the means of exploring these wanderings of the mind that, by opening up multiple perspectives of literary texts, results in a wider understanding of mankind and its character. These and other topics can be explored and discussed in the article. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following and their interrelations:
Wandering in European Romanticism and Modernism.
Wandering women in European literature and film.
The figure of the flâneur and the flâneuse in modern and contemporary literature.
The connection between migration and ‘feeling at home’; the concept of home viewed from the perspective of a displayed person.
Home as a social or private spatial dimension, a psychological experience of safety, stability and emotional experience, a practice and/or an active state of being in the world.
‘Feeling at home’, or ‘not at home’ as a distinctive emotional experience influenced by the social, political and economic context and by the architectural configuration of domestic environment.
Feeling at home in our mind; mind-wandering; the boundaries between wandering creatively and getting lost in speculations.
The internet and virtual wandering as a means of transforming the way we inhabit the non-virtual realm of the home.
Articles must be in English, between 5,000 and 8,000 words long, and accompanied by an abstract of about 250 words and brief biographical details of the author, both of which may, if desired be included in one file with the article. If quotations from works originally published in a language other than English are included, please observe the following conventions:
If the works have a published translation into English, the quotations may be either solely from the published translation or from the original language version followed by the published translation.
If the works do not have a published translation into English, the quotations must be from the original language version followed by a translation by the author of the article.
Submissions should be sent as Word files to email@example.com.
The closing date for submissions is 31st August 2017.
Articles are welcomed from all disciplines within the Humanities as well as Psychology and Cognitive Sciences, Sociology, Politics, Architecture and Visual Arts. Papers coming from an inter-, trans- or multidisciplinary background are particularly welcomed.
Skepsi is a peer reviewed postgraduate journal based in the School of European Culture and Languages at the University of Kent and funded by the University of Kent (http://blogs.kent.ac.uk/skepsi/).